Saw four films today in the IFFK 2013: No Fear, No Die (a French film directed by Claire Denis), The Missing Picture (a Cambodian film, directed by Rithy Panh), An Actor's Revenge (in the Samurai films category) and The battle of Tabato (a Competition Section film). Except for the Samurai film, all the films were of highest standard. The day was marked by unruly and sub-standard crowd behavior inside the cinema halls, even when the movies were going on.
No Fear, No Die narrated the tale of two black emigrants in France who engage in the unlawful sport of cockfighting. The Missing Picture is an innovative docu-film about the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. It’s part history, part autobiography and full of innovation. The director uses archival footages shot by the propaganda arm of the government and depicts what is missing in those official archival visuals – hence the title The missing picture. What provides a stunning effect to the missing visuals is the use of tiny clay figures to represent humans. It symbolizes the fact that under the Pol Pot regime humans were mere objects.
The battle of Tabato is another innovative film that offers the African people’s counter narration to the popular perception about the continent. The film, shot entirely in black and white, declares its own battle against the wars in many African countries: “The huge magic is peace”. It narrates the tale of an old African man who returns to his native country after spending many years in Europe. He seems to have been possessed by a spirit, perhaps a creation of his own guilty feeling about betraying his countrymen and his helplessness in preventing the bloodshed in his country.