Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

TRADER HORN (1931)
I know it's a product of its time and all that, but the racism, the misogyny... they just got to me. The movie just has such an overbearingly imperialist, the-world-is-the-playground-of-white-men attitude that I couldn't really enjoy it. (And it didn't help that the movie was also pretty damn boring.) On the positive side of this jungle adventure, Edwina Booth is very beautiful and the actual footage shot in Africa is often breathtaking. The terrain is gorgeous and seeing herds of animals roaming around freely is exciting. Those scenes are generally wonderful, although even then I had some caveats. I didn't like watching actual rhinos get actually killed onscreen. At least one man is actually trampled on camera by a rhino, too. There was beauty in places, but overall it wasn't a great experience. **

BLACK GIRL (1966)
A French-Senegalese production about a Senegalese woman named Diouana who goes to France to work for a couple taking care of their children. However, the children are away and the lady of the house has Diouana assume maid duties and generally treats her like a slave. Diouana, away from her family and treated harshly, becomes more and more aware of her alienation. She had hoped for a cosmopolitan life in France, but is never allowed to leave the apartment. Towards the end, the film takes a turn I didn't anticipate, but one that makes a harsh point about colonialism and Western exploitation of Africa. Haunting. ****

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