Sunday, July 13, 2008

Films. Afganistan, Afganistan, and Paris.

Congressman Charlie Wilson from TEXAS (!!!!!) and AK 47 in Afganistan.

We did see the Kite Runner, MR HP and I. It was quite ok. I usually like everything that has something to do with the end of the Cold War, The Soviet Union, Russia, Central Asia, 1970's and 80's... You get the idea.

This one lacked one big thing: showing the enormous guilt the main character must have been feeling. Or if he was not. I'll check out and read the book.

* * * * *

I rented two films yesterday. The first one I watched was an American political film, supposing explaining the cold war era, but it was not explaining much, neither was it artistic, peculiarly interesting or original.

Surprisingly I did not mind its strong right-wing ideology, hating both communism and the Russians in general. I forgive that now; the destruction and demolition of people and culture carried out by the Red Army in the film in Afganistan was outrageous, and you know what: in the 80's fear and hatred were as much hand in hand as today, but now the western hatred of communism has been equally wrongly changed into hatred of Islamic cultures, and with the American haters there are the racists groups in Russia, too), and it must be allowed to be filmed in documentary fiction, or how would one call that genre.

BUT. Instead of answering anything, it raised more questions (Iran-Contras? Who did train the Mujahedeen? The strong role of Pakistan that led into more trouble in 2001? The Taliban after the war?), which could have been a good sign, but in this case I think the most interesting questions were not included in the film at all, or were just small jokes in witty, well-written conversations.

And neither the manuscript not the actors were ok. (Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts! Mercy, mercy me. But luckily the CIA agent Gust Avrakotos is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Very good, he was!)

What a pity, since Charlie Wilson's War was based on a true story, and I could not help feeling I'd like to hear the guy himself talk about those times, the US Congress and his visits to Afganistan.

I pretty much agree with this comment in the Guardian, not read by me before this morning:

If popular art of this kind reflects what a nation has come to understand about its behaviour in the recent past, this film shows an America that has learned nothing from events, except that the principle that "My enemy's enemy is my friend" is not always a sound basis for decision-making. True, the film derives its energy and interest from America's current dilemmas in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it has, in the end, little to say, directly or obliquely, about them.

Looking back at the 1980s, what is striking is that both America and Russia thought they were struggling with each other, while what was really happening was that both states were trying and failing to cope with powerful new forces in the non-western world. Those forces were taking on the more marked ethnic and religious guises which are very familiar to us today. ...
(Pls read the rest in here, the Guardian site.)


I miss Paris. That's what I noticed again and again when watching the other rental film. But this film was not good, despite the fact the actors were very god, my favourite being Anne Parillaud.

Reading carefully the back cover texts, I was not expecting this film to be a romantic comedy. I am not at all a fan of romantic comedies. But unfortunately it turned out, at times, to be something of the sort.



But this evening: Be Kind Rewind.

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