Sunday, July 18, 2010

Be careful what you see

I was getting so tired of my son showing me the same scenes from his new favorite movie, Bruno.  So I was happy to run away from home to the Jerusalem International Film Festival. For the past 10 days I saw around 13 films. I usually go with a friend to the opening and to the Saturday films, but this friend decided to take a real summer vacation and go off to the U.S. of A.   I can't blame her.  Hubby joined me at the last moment for the opening flick Le Rafle about the French deportation of Jews during the Holocaust.  Very moving, very well done.  I'm not a movie critic so that's about all you'll get from me. I didn't know if he'd keep up with subtitles, but he actually did a good job.  He's not a foreign film person.  No one in my family is but me.

Friday I saw Melody for a Street Organ, a Ukranian film about two young children who search for their fathers because their mother died, and the coldness of the Ukranian winters and  the coldness of the people who shunted these children around, seemed equally harsh.  I get out of the theater and run to catch another film at a different theater a few blocks away. I'm already 15 minutes late for the film. A man with a child stops me.  He asks me for money for food for his children.  It's hard to say no. I had given him money  when I had seen him last.  I remember the kids in the film who were too proud to beg and no one helped them, and I was sad.  I was just as harsh as the people in the film, as I was late for my film and didn't want to scrounge through my purse for change.    Kanikosen was a Japanese film about crab fishermen in the 1920s and their cruel task master on the boat. It was a strong film about how they tried to take control of their lives and their fate.  I come home after that film.  One of Hubby's favorite reality shows is about crab fishing off the Alaska coast.  I don't know which he likes better.  Crab fishing or DayStar evangelical network on Saturday mornings.

I had to hitchhike into Jerusalem on Saturday morning and, fortunately, my driver was a nice young man, recently engaged to a non-Jewish Peruvian woman. He drove well and bemoaned the fact that it will be a royal pain in the ass for his fiancee to convert in this country. .

I began the day with a French Film, Barbe Blue (Bluebeard). Bluebeard was a beautiful film that took place both in the 1950s and 18th century, with scenes switching back and forth. In the end the young girl has Bluebeard's head on the plate. I love clever women.

I meet a friend in the lounge.  She is seeing twice as many films as I am - and also is seeing them alone.  She said that this festival is spiritual because things are happening to her that are the continuation of the movies we are seeing.  I relate to her what happened to me with the film I saw on Friday and the beggar who came to me right after the film ended.  Is this because the festival is in Jerusalem or do things like this happen in Cannes too?

The next film I saw was The Infidel - a British comedy about a Moslem family, the man of the house from Pakistani extraction whose son is engaged to a woman whose stepfather is an Al-Qaida type.  The father finds out he was born a Jew.  Hysterically funny film, and it was great to laugh with the entire audience.  I found that even sitting in theaters alone, I can still laugh out loud and not be embarrassed about this.  My kids ask me if it's not "fadichot" (embarrassing) to sit my myself, and I tell them no.  I think they're in awe about this.  On Sunday I went for my annual mammogran and sit next to a Moslem woman who is covered from head to toe.  I look for a pen and out pops the ticket to the movie The Infidel.  She looks at the ticket and I'm so amused thinking what a thing to pop out of my purse at this moment.  Maybe that's what I am?  Maybe that's what she thinks of me?  Infidel?

The next film, Tuesday After Christmas was a Romanian film and the only film I didn't enjoy.  Scenes dragged on much too long and I was bored.  The last film of that day was Please Give, a funny movie about a young  New York family and their old neighbor.  They bought her place, but can't renovate until she dies. The movie had some great scenes and I loved the daughter's character crying to her friend about her hippie mother who wanted to "fix the world and who brought home a homeless person to give him a shower in their house and he made a dump on the floor."  To my kids, I'm like the same kind of "mom who wants to fix the world but isn't it hopeless attitude" and by me bringing home Arabs - this  is nearly akin to bringing in a homeless person and the little upstarts should be grateful that at least "my" guests know how to use a toilet.

Un Ange de la Mer was a French film about a kid whose depressed father tells him that he will kill himself.  Up until then, the kid was a normal kid, but afterwards, he was obsessed with watching his father, then couldn't speak.properly..and became half mad like his dad

Friday I saw Korkoran, a great French film about Gypsies in 1943, and about how they just wanted their freedom above all, even though they were told they had to stay put for their own safety.  The French townsfolk consisted of some who wanted to rid France of "their vermin" and the mayor who tried to save the 15-member Gypsy family from the Nazis.

Saturday I saw Crazy Heart, a film with Jeff Bridges and Me Too, a Spanish film about a man with Down's Syndrome who falls in love with a "regular" woman.  I nearly cried when another Down's Syndrome couple fell in love and the 24 year old woman explains to her friends that "he's my soul.  He's my soul"  It made me think of a Down's Syndrome guy who always had a bunch of flowers in his hand.  When he saw me, he'd give me one of them and a hug.  I haven't seen him in months and wonder how he is.

The Double Hour was an Italian suspense film.  Really good.  I tried to convince my family they would like it but they "poo poo'd" foreign films, telling me they know they're boring.  Stupid people. The last film - a French flick called Un Poison Violent was a story about a family living in a small French village, whose life centered around their Parish church and the priest, while the daughter was beginning to have these lustful feelings for one of the boys in the village and didn't know whether she should take communion (or is it "have" communion?).  One scene I believe the priest is in love with one of his parisioners, but won't show it or won't allow it to happen.  He cries himself to sleep at night.

This afternoon I went to an interfaith meeting in Beit Jala.  Some of my favorite people were there including someone I have a bigger-than-slight crush on.  There are young women from Italy, France, US, and India.  I love the whole scene.  It's relaxed and the headache I had at the beginning disappeared.  The Man is telling everyone to wait until I finish eating.  I tell them don't bother, I'm never finished eating.  Everyone laughs and then we go on to discuss why Jerusalem is holy in our three religions.  Afterwards, the Man gives me a hug and tells the crowd he's so happy to see me. That I'm his soul friend.  He repeats the word "soul" again.  And I nearly cry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm in France, and I'm not aware of half the films you're talking about!

Your posts are terrific, so much detail and I like how your humor shows through.....keep it up!