Sunday, March 29, 2015

Utterly Different and Two of a Kind --- Day 4/59

Walk: Cinema Club, Woodhouse Cafe, Trader Joe's
Distance: 3.5 miles and home yoga

Two recent movies plus life these days has highlighted a topic that is on Ciwt's mind but which she probably won't write about.  Too sweeping, too political, it's all been said - in any number of contradictory ways - so Ciwt's words aren't necessary.

The topic?  The insanity of war.

Why now?  Two excellent movies about war she saw recently.  Very different in style, but the bottom line is exactly the same in each.  The first movie was '71, a visceral, violent portrayal of what is euphemistically referred to as 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland.  '71The year chosen was 1971, but the conflict has been given the dates 1969 when the first bloody riot erupted until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

Those dates are as fluid and inexact as the action in '71, the movie.  Ciwt goes to many movies, and this is the first where it remained incomprehensible throughout which characters were killing for what cause.  Really it was hatred, rage unleashed and untethered so, when the killings came, they were instantaneous and nobody - even if they started with an ideal or a cause - really had any discernible reason for doing them. It was violent beating and shooting and bombing and yelling completely out of control - by everyone.

At first Ciwt thought the filmmaker sort of didn't realize how confusing this all was for the audience to watch.  Then she assumed at some point all would be explained.  No, the ultimate message was in the utterly chaotic, random medium.

The second movie was a small Estonian masterpiece which Ciwt saw today: Tangerines, about a Abkhazia-Georgia conflict as the Soviet Union was collapsing. Tangerines The writer-director here made a quiet, melancholy, small-scale statement.  But the message is identical: war, once begun, quickly devolves into pure chaos utterly removed from any human values or ideals.

Adding to the canon of war - or anti-war - writing is not for Ciwt, but she can report that these two movies, while not perfect, go deep and stay with her.  You might want to see them.


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