Thursday, February 12, 2009
Why I love International Films...seeing Snow at the Portland International Film Festival
I cannot stop thinking about the Portland International Film Festival going on these three weeks. Last week, I went to see the Bosnian Film "Snow" at the annual film event with a friend and I have wanted to go back to see other international films since then, including a German and Austrian one, but did not end up making it there. I have been talking to other people about international films, finding common ground with certain friends on this -- there is something about international films.
They are mysterious and paced differently and do not give away all the answers and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers and there is plot and layer after layer and, like good poetry, you have to come to your own conclusion by thinking about the movie and talking about it and musing.
"Snow" follows the tale of a handful of women in a village after recovering from War in 1997. Some of the women are widows and many of their children have been executed by Bosnian Serbs who live nearby but the children’s bodies have not been found. All the women have are their memories and their homemade items they try to sell with little success. Two businessmen arrive with an offer to buy the residents out which gives the villagers a tough choice. Other hopeful elements are interwoven in this Critics’ Week Grand Prize Winner at the Cannes Film Festival. Snow is this year’s Bosnian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
I found myself intrigued by this story of devastation after war, yet the film does not get political. Again, a difference that I see comparing American films with international films. American films tend, in general, to jam messages down people’s throats, while international films, again in general, will allow you to make your own conclusions or show several sides to a story.
Like good poetry – a bit of a mystery that intrigues and leaves you hungering for more.
When I mentioned my interest in the Portland International Film festival to my husband, he said he'd like to go with me, and so for Valentine’s Day [or the day before depending on when we can get a baby-sitter] we will find an international film to see. My husband mentioned two of his favorite films- which happen to be international - the 1986 French film "Jean de Florette" and its sequel "Manon of the Spring", two films that I had forgotten about but now that my husband mentioned them, I realize how much I too enjoyed them. The mystery of the heart and family and human nature were explored in those films.
The calendar for the PIFF is posted on line - . . . I will blog about which film we ended up seeing... stay tuned