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BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

I can't say I enjoyed the film, as any film with this subject matter is going to upset and anger the viewer, but it was watchable, though not a film I'd like to return to other than to clarify details.

 

Interesting point. I'm not sure I was exactly 'upset and angered', more wearied and depressed, but if I'd thought the film was better those probably are the emotions I should have felt. 

 

I can think of a few excellent films with portrayals of rape (Sleepers and Dogville spring to mind) but I don't think I've seen a film which was quite so purely *about* rape before. Anyone else?

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I didn't find the film

I didn't find the film particularly and quite enjoyed it, although I think it failed to deliver on it's promises. 

firstly, this was a horrendous period in European history, and the viewer really needed to get some concept of that. I thought it was relatively lightweight given the subject. 

it could have done with an extra 20 minutes or so. There was no back story for the lead character. Who was she really ?  I felt there should have been a bit more on the every day life in the village before all the men were shot. They were all just extras and that event should have had a much bigger impact. 

The bit when the little girl had the cross carved into her back was about the only reference to ethnic cleansing. 

I just thought it was a missed opportunity to tell a horrendous story, that should have a lasting impact on the watcher. 

Btw. I'm finding trying to type posts on the new forum more traumatic than the film. 

 

 

 

 

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I agree with a lot of those

I agree with a lot of those points (very much including the last one!). 

 

I really enjoyed the first section and agree we could have had more of that. I also agree some background to the main character would have drawn in the viewer and made us feel more empathetic. As it was, there were only two characters we had any insight into (the protagonist and the captain) and both remained at best two dimensional. 

 

I also agree this was an opportunity to provide a broad insight from a narrow example of these two individuals. We certainly risk criticising a film for it being about what the filmmakers wanted it to be about rather than what we wanted it to be about, but in giving zero background, spending insufficient time on the issues in the last part of the film and failing to give any broad insight into the period in history, this ultimately was just a film about one form of war rape. That in itself isn't a problem but I don't feel it gave any insight into that issue, save for the blatant and consequently banal point that 'it's pretty unpleasant'. 

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richardw42 wrote:

richardw42 wrote:

I didn't find the film particularly and quite enjoyed it, although I think it failed to deliver on it's promises. 

firstly, this was a horrendous period in European history, and the viewer really needed to get some concept of that. I thought it was relatively lightweight given the subject. 

it could have done with an extra 20 minutes or so. There was no back story for the lead character. Who was she really ?  I felt there should have been a bit more on the every day life in the village before all the men were shot. They were all just extras and that event should have had a much bigger impact. 

The bit when the little girl had the cross carved into her back was about the only reference to ethnic cleansing. 

I just thought it was a missed opportunity to tell a horrendous story, that should have a lasting impact on the watcher. 

Btw. I'm finding trying to type posts on the new forum more traumatic than the film. 

Though I described the film as "good", I cannot disagree with any of your points, and the more I think about it, the more I think the film makers really missed a chance to do something genuinely moving.

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I'm a little surprised there

I'm a little surprised there's not been more discussion on this film. We've picked a few holes in it, but it's not a BAD film. 

Perhaps everybody's having as much hassle posting as I am. 

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RE: I'm a little surprised

The reason that it has gone quiet at my end, is that some of the discussion about the film, has included descriptions of some scenes, which are different to how I remembered them. Consequently I want to watch the film again, to check if my memory is going, or alternatively if some of us have different versions of the film (with missing/added scenes). Unfortunately I have not yet made the time to watch the film.

I can throw in a new element to discuss. I have been trying to understand in my mind, why the film includes the section where the young girl has the cross cut into her back. I keep thinking that that section adds nothing to the film, and could be excluded. The film already includes enough material to get the message across, that life in the "entertainment section" was not pleasant for the women. Also if the film is essentially describing Samiras "journey" from innocent teacher, to mother of a new child, then surely there is no need to show the mutilation of the young girl (because she is not a key element of Samiras life). The only rationale that I can think of, for including the mutilation, is to reinforce the message that this ethnic conflict was also aligned along a clear religious division (Christian v Muslim). Does anyone else have any thoughts on this topic?

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Interestingly, that was the

Interestingly, that was the other element I'd made a note about when I watched the film. Far from 'reinforcing the message' that this was an ethnic conflict, I was concerned that this was the only reference to that aspect of the conflict and that in isolation it rather assumed knowledge of the conflict, rather than informing the viewer as I felt the filmmakers were trying to do.

 

As for why it was there, I feel the answer lies in the reference at the end (I think) that the film was based on several true stories. It felt to me like it was thrown in simply because someone behind the film had read accounts and found that particularly horrific (as it was) and wanted to put it in - even though in reality it bore no relation to the rest of the story and added little. 

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Can anyone remind me what the

Can anyone remind me what the next film is? I guess we only have two weeks left to watch it in. Also, that must mean it's time for a new selection to vote on? Is it David's turn now?

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It's City Of Lost Children,

It's City Of Lost Children, Ben. And yes, I think it is time for David to pick his 3 films.

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3 films, I thought it was

3 films, I thought it was more now? Or is that only when we get back to you voting?

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I'll wait until this has been

I'll wait until this has been ironed out! A tad busy over the next few days as well, so bear with me...

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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BenLaw wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

3 films, I thought it was more now? Or is that only when we get back to you voting?

When a new round starts, so after David has chosen his films.

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Does anyone here want to join

Does anyone here want to join the WHF Fantasy Football League?

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BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

Does anyone here want to join the WHF Fantasy Football League?

Now that I am in France, I do not watch much UK football, so for me, picking the team would include an element of sticking pins in a list of names. I think that I would struggle to beat your wifes team.

I will have a look at the details, and think about it.

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BenLaw wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

Far from 'reinforcing the message' that this was an ethnic conflict, I was concerned that this was the only reference to that aspect of the conflict and that in isolation it rather assumed knowledge of the conflict, rather than informing the viewer as I felt the filmmakers were trying to do.

The original book was released in 1999, and at that time the conflict would probably have been fresh in any readers mind, so they would probably already be familiar with the religious element to the ethic divisions. In contrast, the film was released in 2010, and anyone watching the film today, who is younger than 20 will not remember the conflict, and may be unaware of important aspects of it. If the director felt the need to inform the younger viewers, of the religious aspect, I think she needed more than just the one reference.

BenLaw wrote:

As for why it was there, I feel the answer lies in the reference at the end (I think) that the film was based on several true stories. It felt to me like it was thrown in simply because someone behind the film had read accounts and found that particularly horrific (as it was) and wanted to put it in - even though in reality it bore no relation to the rest of the story and added little. 

According to http://humanrightsfilmdiary.blogspot.fr/2012/07/no-6-as-if-i-am-not-there.html :

"As if I am not there (2010), ..... is based on the book by Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic.  Drakulic has written many books including an excellent book 'They would never hurt a fly: war criminals on trial at the Hague'. To gather the material for both these books Drakulic spent time at the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) watching the trials.  In 'They would never hurt a fly' she gives descriptions of those prosecuted by the Tribunal while in 'As if I am not there' she tells the story of 'S' a victim of sexual violence during the Balkan conflict. "

So the author was familiar with many accounts of victims from the conflict. However like you I feel that the child mutilation bore no relation to the rest of the story.

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