Cultural tidbits and such



THE EDUKATORS gets my Buried Treasure vote! (We'll igonore the fact that it's the only one I've seen thus far.) In contrast to the 3 main characters in this film, I'm a closet revolutionary, so I enjoyed watching Jan, Jule, and Peter doing what I might one day have the courage to do.

The film covers many issues related to revolution and revolutionaries that are now dancing around in my mind. Peaceful ways of frightening people, how effective the revolution is, the motive for revolting and various others that have slipped out of my mind temporarily.

If you really think about it, the story could be a bit contrived in that they conveniently take a hostage who was once an idealistic revolutionary himself. But I still rate it 5/5.



I tend to like movies where the title can have multiple meanings. UNDERTOW is one that can be interpreted on multiple levels. This is the harrowing story of two brothers, their father, and his brother. I don't want to ruin the movie by summarizing the plot, but basically the two brothers end up on the run and have to take care of themselves and each other. The resilience and creativity of children always amazes me. I wasn't like that! (Or was I just not in a situation that tested it?) The story is bleak and there doesn't seem to be much hope, but the movie is about the children and their interactions with people once they leave their father's secluded house. 4/5



I believe that this is the first film I've seen from Bhutan! It was a beautiful film and I have nothing bad to say about, I just didn't like it that much. The parallel stories, a tall-tale and the actual action that is taking place, are similar, but it didn't really add anything to the film for me. The tale was told in installments that basically matched the plot development in the real movie but did not reveal anymore information. The travellers were obvious; I'm still trying to figure out what role the magicians had. 3.5/5


Movie Updates

I have seen at least four movies since my last post. I'll do my best to remember them and at least give some idea how I felt about them. I also went to Nicaragua and if you want to see some of the highlights visit my LiveJournal link.

OK, films:

WHALE RIDER - I think this may be a 2003 movie and I've been meaning to see it for quite a while. Well, in Nicaragua I finally got the chance and despite the hype it was not disappointing. It was a beautifully told and acted story about a topic that really interested me. The topic of a film can really make or break it. And despite many years of all women's education, I can't help being curious about gender roles and how they play out in traditional situations. 4.5/5

WALKABOUT - If any of you have seen this movie (apparently from 1971) about two English children stranded in the Australian outback, please explain it to me! I also watched this in Nicaragua with the woman I stayed with and she now has serious concerns about my movie choices;-) There didn't seem to be a plot, the older sister was a horrible actress and what plot they tried to have was perplexing. I guess it's based on a book. Hopefully the book is better! 2/5

BORN INTO BROTHELS - So many people recently have told me how wonderful this documentary is. I enjoyed it, some photos and interviewees in particular, but as a whole I was not impressed. The woman who went to live in India to document the 'Red Light District' in Calcutta didn't seem to even speak the language. How did she blend in with a translator attached to her? In any case, the focus of this documentary is on the children whose mother's are prostitutes. The English woman gives them each a camera and teaches them how to take photos and select the best ones. It is interesting to hear the cildren talk about how they feel when they are taking pictures and also their thoughts on other things. My favorite is one girl who says she often wonders what she could be if she had the opportunity to get an education. As I said some of the photgraphs were nice, but I don't remember any of the children expressing interesting thoughts about why they took certain pictures and what they meant, which is what I was expecting. 3.5/5

IN AMERICA - I just watched this one a couple hours ago and was truly engaged in the story and fairly emotionally involved, which hasn't happened with many movies recently. It was well-acted, an interesting and believable story told through the eyes of the older daughter. I believe she is only 10, but she carries around a camcorder to record things and has surprising insights for her age. We learn about her family's immigration from Ireland, their struggle to make ends meet, and the danger of their apartment building inhabited by 'drug addicts and transvestites.' 4/5

Yay! I think I'm all caught up now!