Monday, 1 September 2008

Three Looks at How Hate Harms Everyone: Movies from Montreal's World Film Festival

A slow start this holiday morning. The fact that we didn’t get home until after midnight from seeing the last of the films at the World Film Festival doesn’t help much. The festival continues today, but we decided after four that we’d had our quotient for the moment

Three are worth mentioning: The Tour from Serbia, Nobody to Watch over Me from Japan and Todos Estamos Invitados from Spain. I thought the first was the best: it is a comedy (?) that takes place in December 1993 when a theatre troupe from Belgrade finds itself on the front in that fratricidal war. The second is concerned with what happens to the family of a presumed child killer in Japan—a media circus, an innocent younger sister hounded, a cop who feel guilty about not protecting another child. The last takes place in the Basque country where a professor who denounces terrorism is threatened by ETA stalwarts.

All are worth seeing for the window they offer on their respective societies. One theme recurs however: how group and societal pressure can stir up hatred among and toward people who initially at first have clean hands. This is something I’ve always been concerned about (as have many, many people) and to which I find myself returning as I try to make sense of the world, as well as decide what project to take on next.

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