Saturday, December 10, 2011

IFFK 2011 - Day 2 Afternoon

I watched two films so far today. First I saw L'argent (or Money) by Robert Bresson in Kalabhavan theatre. It is a brilliantly crafted film, based on a story of Leo Tolstoy. Some peices of counterfeit notes go in circulation in Paris. The notes change many hands. Finally, an innocent young man receives the notes and gets caught when he unsuspectingly tries to do transaction with these notes. The film narrates the radical changes that happen in his and others' lives.

Despite a simple story line, it is not a film that tells a simple moralistic tale. The beauty of the film lies in its shots. The camera does not focus on human beings and their faces. Instead we see all kinds of mechanical objects: metal locks, iron bars, plastic pipes, hack saw, and variety of doors and passages. You also see people's legs, their back, anything except their face. People who passes through these objects become less important than these objects. The film chillingly suggests they become less important because they are after the 'visible god' among all objects: money.

I had planned to watch Eternity and a Day by Theodoros Angelopoulos. But I learned about the change of schedule only when I reached Dhanya Theatre. After some instant research with schedule, the Festival Book, and the Daily Bulletin, I decided it best to watch the replacement movie, Of Gods and Men, a Fench film directed by Xavier Beauvois.

It is sober tale based on a real life incident happened in 1996 in Tibhirine,a hilly village of Algeria during the civil war. Nine French monks were living in a monstery which was the fulcrum by which the village functions. When the civil war broke out, the monks were asked to leave by various factions, including the French adn the Algerian governments. But they refused to leave, citing the bible verses and remembering the Sacrifice. Intially some members were reluctant. Later, after some rounds of intimidation from both the warring sides, the reluctant members too must enough courage to stay on.  They stay on despite the heaping deadbodies and ruthless mass murder in their surroundings. Finally, they were abdducted and killed.

It is a slow-paced film, interspersed regularly with relegious sermons and biblical verses. It asks perhaps the most relevant question of our times: "For whom do they kill?"

Next I am going to watch one of the most anticipated movies in IFFK 2011: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia in Ajantha theatre. Hopefully there won't be any change of films.  

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