Tuesday, June 18, 2013

5 Broken Cameras (2012) 5/5

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Healing is a challenge in life. It's a victim sole obligation. By healing, you resist oppression. But when I'm hurt over and over again, I forget the wounds that rule my life. Forgotten wounds can't be healed. So I film to heal. I know they may knock at my door at any moment. But I'll just keep filming. It helps me confront life. And survive.

One of the biggest lies that has been spoon-fed to the "first world" over the past fifty years or so is that Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians/Terrorists/etc. hate Americans/Jews/Europeans/etc. just because.  The presented "fact" that their hate is senseless, unchangeable, and rooted in their celestial faith allows for a completely unacceptable moral detachment to the plight of these people (that is made all the more easy by the geographic detachment of Americans).  Adding fuel to the fire is that fact that the "Arab nation" has one of the worst collective PR departments in civilized history.

This film takes a baby step towards solving this very real and very big problem.  By telling the story of one man's family in one small village along the "new settlement" area of Israel's West Bank the movie is very effective at putting a human face on the struggle that should have many of us "first-worlders" rethinking our stance.  As the media continues to paint Palestinians as violent rock-throwing hate mongers, while watching this film it is simply amazing that they could be as peaceful as they are under the circumstances.

If you have ever asked the question, "Why do they hate us so much?" and you aren't happy with the answer "They simply hate us for our way of life", I strongly urge you to watch this movie immediately.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Take this Waltz (2012) 4/5

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-I'd like to make a date to kiss you.
-Well.... my schedule's fairly flexible.

 Many times throughout a year a film simply slips through the cracks of our theater-going collective consciousness. Most of the time this is because the movie is bad, unoriginal, or simply forgettable (and this is a good thing), but every once in a while it's because of an unfortunate release date, poor advertisement, or originality that the average box-office patron may not be quite ready for yet. "Take this Waltz" suffered from all three of the latter disadvantages. Given a December release date, the right amount of "awards-season" buzz, and solid hipster word-of-mouth this movie could have been huge. It is a romantic comedy that breaks every rule, using elements of mystery to keep the viewer guessing, but at the same time keeping the perfect touch of whimsy to maintain the magic that a romance needs. The unpredictability borders on the absurd at a few points, but amazing performances by Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen and delicate direction from Sarah Polley never let the disbelief take over the artistry.