Just the Wind
Just the Wind
Frankly, I am a little surprised that Just the Wind was only rewarded with silver. This is an incredibly gritty piece of filmmaking, which reflects, albeit obliquely, on the current, disturbing state of political life in Hungary: let’s not forget that the EU officially rebuked Hungary for its newly adopted constitution last year.
Just last week, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted a four-party resolution that expressed concern over, and I quote: “the exercise of democracy, the rule of law, the respect and protection of human and social rights” in Hungary.
Rewarding Caesar Must Die ahead of Just the Wind: I felt, maybe, that the jury was going with respect for age rather than making the overt and appropriately political statement that this festival is justly famous for.
And about that cinematography prize for White Deer Plain: Lutz Reitemeier’s opening shot of waving corn was, as I believe I mentioned, quite splendid and set the scene (but little more) for some epic topics of the way political and personal histories merged in China during the restless era between 1911-1937.
The problem with such shots is that the rest of the movie needs to match that splendor in terms of acting, plot, character development etc. This was not the case in White Deer Plain (sadly, after the excellent films that Wang Quan'an has given us before), as a result, the cinematography felt hollow, despite the splendor.
That aside, though, what's to quibble? As far as I'm concerned, the festival highlights are in its lowlights: the small films from Iran, from Thailand, from South Korea, Ireland. The attractiveness and relevance of cinema lies in its diversity. All due credit to the Berlinale for doing cinema full justice. Again.