Having posted twice already today, I almost forgot that I still had to do a couple of film reviews. I’m sorta looking forward to the end of filmfest as all my time has been divided between work and fest and little else. I really need to do some washing up and I’d like to cook again. The meaty stew I made prior to filmfest has been going well. I froze 4-5 servings of it and had one every night or two – I think I have one serving to go. While my filmfest menu hasn’t been fantastic, it has been steady and I’ve been mostly good at resisting the temptation to snack. Except for the jelly babies last night – they’re disappearing rather too quickly.
First film of the night was Women Without Men, directed by Shirin Neshat and set in Iran in 1953. This was a powerful piece set at the time of the british blockade of Iranian oil and explores the time in Iran from a female perspective. It’s a reminder once again, of the problems women face, especially in a society where many voices aren’t allowed to be heard. All the women portrayed had to go through some sort of painful episode (in one case to die and rise again allegorically) in order to achieve freedom in a repressive environment. The use of allegory and metaphor was an attempt to expand the storytelling and did so in a way that did not confuse or detract.
This was followed by Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik and set in the Missouri Ozarks in the USA. Another movie with a strong female lead and men more in the background. The women in this movie were hard, very hard and they were the main players in this story. A 17 girl goes on a hunt for her missing father, who has a reputation for drug manufacturing for the local cartel. At the same time, she’s trying to raise her younger siblings as her mother is mostly out of it. The lead is a strong, determined woman whose perseverance is at the heart of this movie. Well played indeed.