As the weekend winds down and I kill time before the 7 pm Asia Pacific Forum on Mining & Minerals reception, let me ruminate on the three movies I have seen this week.
The first was In The Valley of Eliah: Brilliant acting; superb directing; a disturbing anti-war movie that had me angry and ready to march to bring the troops home. (Keep in mind my son is on a destroyer in the Gulf.)
Then the opening movie of the Vancouver Film Festival, a badly organized affair held in grungy surroundings. Fugitive Pieces is based on a good book that should never have been made into a movie. Typical Canadian stuff: running and laughing in pouring rain; taking beautiful girls to bed on the first date; luxuriating in a villa on a Greek Island; suffering exquisite angst over times and places you cannot influence; and dying in front of a carelessly driven bus. True, the fellow enjoying all this fun and angst is a Holocaust survivor. But the wooden actors could not arouse emotion for World War II wrongs in spite of my two Jewish grandkids.
Today’s film festival fare, Iska’s Journey, was one hour of slow moving, but strangely loving shots of a Carpathian mining town. I almost felt like a child again:the headgears, old metal buildings, and waste heaps reminded me of the mine where I grew up. We follow a plucky twelve-year old who makes money for her drunken parents scavenging in the local landfill and mine waste piles. She decides to run away and the pace and tragedy pick up for the last half hour. White slave traders transport her and a bevy of beautiful girls to Turkey and the scene on the ship is brutal as only Europeans can do.
By this time, my movie-induced senses were dull; I barely noticed the snide remark that maybe opposition to new mines in Romania comes from the traders who brook no disruption of the source of goods in the hopeless towns of the mined mountains. Maybe George Soros is innocent?