White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Looking back at couple of movies

Some notes about couple of good movies that I have recenty watched:

Kill Bill Vol 1:
This was an overdue movie that I wanted to watch for a long time which finally happened today. The movie is strange and definitely attractive. The surreal pictured environment kept me gazed to the screen for almost all the movie. Although I'm very much against violent cinema, but the colorful set design and the amazing technique of the violent scenes was not something to skip. The story in the first volume was very much an introduction to the volume 2 and I leave my general judgment about the conceptual aspect of the movie to the 2nd part. I enjoyed the soundtrack a lot, specially the piece by Morricone on the animation segment. The movie makes you wonder about the human adaptation nature. The first few violent scenes of the movie when one individual gets injured are quite painful, but as the movie goes on the audience mind really catches up with the whole violent nature of the movie and towards the end the mind even becomes creative in imagining about new forms of violence bloodshed.

Fog of War:
It is great to hear from one of the architects of the Vietnam bloodshed, about his mentality, view of life and politics. McNamara who seems to be a very smart admin of his generation talks openly about the America in world war two and 50s and 60s. He defends US brutal policies in the Far East very strongly and with minimal reservation. He simplifies the whole concept of the Vietnam War or the Cuba crisis as only reactions of US to the expansions of Communism. He intelligently avoids talking about the brutality of the South Vietnamese generals and their corrupt regimes which worked as great support for the northern side. He's interesting points about the concept of war and the ways the human can avoid it. But it really requires strong guts to defend the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombing in 21st century and he's the one who stands behind them firmly. And he simplifies them as preventive measures to avoid larger scale bloodsheds.

This is a great documentary about 8 kids who are preparing for the national spelling competition which takes place in Washington DC every year. The most strange one of the 8s is one wealthy Indian boy, whose parents are extremly desperate to achieve the national pride. It's mentioned in the movie that his grandpa has paid 1000 people to pray for his victory and he'll feed 5000 people if he wins! You can imagine the desperateness of his parents who worked around the clock on this competition t. Each of these 8 kids are truly smart, but you completely feel how their energy and mind is being wasted because of the naiveness of their parents and their teacher to push them for such a competition. In the special feature of the DVD that I watched, it had a section: "Where are these kids now". The girl who won the competition on that year, didn't end up with a good college education and most of her time after the win went to national TVs and publicities.

Hotel Rwanda
This is a movie that made me feel ashamed of myself. Dafur genocide which is a smaller scale of genocide (comparing with Rwanda) is taking place in our time, and still I feel I haven't done any action even at very basic local level. The movie looks into the conflict through an isolated story which is about those who had some sort of support, mainly because they lived in a large city where UN had better presence. Rwanda massacre is definitely shame for the whole world, specially the Western democracies who spend billions to shout about their democracies and progressive values. One strong aspect of the movie is the way that it pictures the importance of the media is strengthening a racial conflict. In the rural Rwanda it's simply a radio station which constantly spreads the message of hate and destruction. The movie has couple of disturbing scenes that picture a tiny part of the reality of the misery. I wish the movie had spent a little bit more on the background of the conflict. The fact that the root cause of this hatred comes from decades of discrimination of Tutsi's against Hutus by Belgian colonies. The movie made me think a lot about what's going on in Iraq today and the dangerous power competition of Shias and Sunnis. Sometime I feel concerned about Iran's policy of constant influence for the sake of supporting Shias there. As a matter of fact, it's Iranians (not US or UK), who are going to live in that area forever and more than any country they should watch what they are doing there.
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