It has been quite a while since I have been bored with the routine weekend hang outs. Two weeks back a friend invited me to the 'Tri-Continent Film Fest' at Bangalore. Though many people think it crazy, I absolutely love watching contemporary parallel movies & movies with a strong sense of direction. About 20 award winning movies were screened during those two days

Alliance Franchise, where the movies were screened, is an Indo French collaboration centre. It has a terrific ambience with a tranquil garden and aesthetically furnished interiors. Most of the crowd over there were social activists, media students & a surprising number of foreigners. Felt like being transposed to a different world inside Bangalore; where people sat in groups, sipping piping hot tea & discussing social issues.

Some movies succeeded in striking a chord deep within me. One such movie was ‘Hearts and Minds’- a 1974 academy award winning documentary on Vietnam war. It captures the most powerful images of a devastating war carried out by the US.

The US war planes whizzed past, carpet bombing the Vietnamese villages and ejecting toxic gases that resulted in massive killings. Many US war veterans & pilots when interviewed, initially told how they enjoyed bombings the targets; but later on many broke down seeing the devastating effects they created . One pilot commented how he felt as if he were playing video games, when the deadly bombs hit the target. In the national cemetery an elderly woman wails and tries to jump into her son’s grave to get buried; a child pathetically weeps and falls on his father’s grave.

The movie derived it’s name from US president President Lyndon B. Johnson’s notorious speech “The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there." Glorious words used to cover up the senseless occupation of Vietnam.

US soldiers brutally harassed the civilians, set fire on their houses & dehumanized the Vietnamese prostitutes . The war footage shows children screaming and running in pandemonium. A little girl Kim Phouc, horribly burnt ran out screaming while the shells exploded against the back drop. This picture that appeared all over the world , pricked the conscience of the entire world .The movie succeded in putting forth a strong anti-war message.

There were a few other movies worth mentioning: John & Jane is an Indian movie on the woes of call centre employees, as they tries to cope up with the virtual world they live in. Shake Hands With The Devil looks through the eyes of Romeo Dallaire, the once UN Force Commander to Rwanda, when the country went through a heinous civil war & genocide. It’s the story of a nation abandoned by the world & even by UN who withdrew it’s peace keeping forces at a crucial time. Say Amen an Israeli movie, comically picturises how a gay man is being forced by his large conservative extended family to commit to the institution of marriage.

I think I have seen enough movies to last atleast a month. Cant take in any more!!!!

PS: I might not be politically correct here. These are just a chain of images drifting across my mind

11 comments:

Anonymous said... 4:03 PM  

i remember looking at u after the movie. shocked,speaking a million words of how disturbing those scenes were...but all in silence.it was a hard deal. later resting in the cane chairs outside i sipped my coffee in silence. i didnt even realise when my cig finished. it was a creepy feeling and now i get it again.its creepy stuff...coz its real, its happened. cant even pacify ourself "its just a movie !" . it is NOT.its a documentary of what had happened. the evil side of humanity,the pity of war n its helplesness, the illusions of super powers.

now i really wish to erase a few of those movies from my memory.

maneesha

The Humming Bird said... 5:13 PM  

Asian, African and Latin American parallel movies
always have the perceptive of the real-life unlike
the way holly-bolly woods & other commercials do.
They are created more with the intention of social commitment rather
than entertaining. 'Motor cycle diaries' is such
a movie which uses cinema as the medium to communicate
common people issues. That is a visualization of
book on the same title. The one idea author tries to
justify is that true revolutionary-war-man killing
is guided by a great feeling of love. This may seem
ridiculous to majority of people especially to
people in rich countries. Some people say it
is a paradox/contradiction. Just watch the movie
with the heart of a common third-world-country-citizen
,you might be getting solution for this ambiguity.
You might even feel that at some point of time
you had also gone through the mental states of
the main character...but never had the will power to
give up a glittering profession to take up guns as
he does. The story is based upon autobiographical-work of
Che.
Hmm..So they are closely in connection to real life. Don’t forget to do a proper
check before you marry ;-)

Have you seen "Life is beautiful" -- An Italian movie which won best oscar sometime back .. Thats another very touching one showing the lives of ppl in Nazi concentration camps.. I havent seen any of those which u mentioned.. But, would recommend you "Life is beautiful" if you havent seen it.

great jump from 'yo man yo' to 'hearts & minds' !

umm reminds me I watched one on the vietnam war on Discovery and that still brings shudders.

thanks for stopping by...

This comment has been removed by the author.

@maneesha: hmmm,it was exactly a kind of creepy feeling. mind was clouded with images for 2-3 days. and when i sat down to write this, feelings were back, though not so strong!!! on a brighter note, spent the weekend a 'different way', unlike the usual brigade-commercial-street-syndrome :)

@humming bird: though i have heard the title 'motorcycle diary', never imagined it would be this kind of movie or least of all related che guevara.seems worth seeing.though people get easily motivated by revolutionary ideas, it requires immense grit to put them into practice!!!

@ajith: no, i havent seen it. as you know i watch movies only ocassionaly:), and mostly only when the story line is too good and had been strongly recommented to me. will love to see this one some time.

@jayesh: hehee..afterall, variety is the spice of life.i'm open to all aspects of life :)

@avenger: the documentary had so much relevance especially at the after math of iraq war!!!

Anonymous said... 11:57 AM  

:) one more film festival coming up- Experimenta-07! First time in blore. lets not miss it rosh :)

maneesha

Anonymous said... 12:04 PM  

@ajith : yes that movie is a must-to-see ! this comic tragedy is too intense.

"schindler's list" is another famous war movie that i regard as truely haunting.

maneesha

tip: a dvd rental account with indiatimes is real nice-to-have if youre on your way to be a movie connoisseur.
and there's one movie i'd suggest: The central station. It's in spanish, so get a DVD with subtitles.

@maneesha: i guess, we were too saturated to experiment with experimenta-07 :)

@toothlesswonder: good idea, though i dont think i will metamorphise into a movie buff:) but good movie suggestions are always welcome

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