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Quick Review: Salt and Fire

Director: Werner Hertzog

Starring Veronica Ferres, Michael Shannon Gael, Garcia Bernal Image result for salt and fire

The movie has been classified as a “thriller”, and there are certainly very tense moments when Laura, head of a delegation of scientists, is abducted by a group of mysterious masked men. The viewer is unsure what to expect and the plot unfolds with plenty of absurdities and non-sequiturs. The dialogue at first is wooden and stilted for the most part, and the acting, too, seems awkward, matching the clownish dialogue and actions of the abductors. It seems predictable and formulaic until everything changes and the viewer is left wondering where the story if going to…and that is what kept me watching.

This is a tantalizing piece of theatre art, easily dismissed as superficial and facile at first, but as the plot unfolds and the protagonists begin to find common ground, the surreal landscape and Laura’s enforced solitude on the salt flats take on a different meaning. She is abandoned on an “island” in the middle of a vast salt lake with two little blind boys.

The two boys bring out the human side of Laura, forcing her to reevaluate her position as a mere observer, a scientist who is objective and remote.  download (6)

 

Hertzog’s vision of man’s inherent greed, leading to his ultimate self-destruction is revealed, bit by bit, in the agonizingly slow unfolding of the character of Laura, a hard-headed scientist, who is to make a report of the ecological disaster caused by Riley’s Consortium.  Riley has isolated her and two small blind boys – his sons – in the salt flats so that she can experience what the disaster really means to the indigenous people who lived on what was once a lake.

Image result for salt and fire

The viewer is, at first, left to puzzle the point of the story, to find the depth and symbolism through stark imagery, the sterile environment of the salt lake against the impending cataclysmic disaster of the volcano – an analogy of the destruction caused by mankind and the unstoppable power of nature that can destroy humanity.

Interestingly the “villain”, a wheelchair-bound menacing figure who can walk when he feels like it, is played by the famous physicist Lawrence Krauss.

Laurence Krauss.JPG

Lawrence Krauss

 

 

 

I can see why the movie was panned by better-educated reviewers than me, but I was fascinated by the entire concept of how he put his message across. Perhaps Hertzog is having the last laugh as I ponder the meaning and artistry of his film; certainly the last few scenes in the film were surreal as if he was having a lot of fun playing with perspective and man’s self-absorption, showing how tiny we really are in the bigger scheme of things, and how fragile…

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Posted by on February 4, 2018 in Movie Reviews, movies,, Uncategorized

 

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Jadotville

Jadotville

 

We watched the movie, The Siege of Jadotville last night. I am not an aficionado of “chick flix”, being more of the “blood, gore and guts” type of girl. I don’t do horror and zombie movies either; I prefer real dramas.

Well, I was in for a surprise. I watched, stunned, as the story unfolded. The movie left me with such a deep, sad sense of injustice and futility that I struggled to fall asleep.

The Siege of Jadotville happened in September 1961,  and it is based on true events. It was a time during which there was much unrest all over Africa as many colonial powers were being forced to relinquish their grip on the suppressed people of the benighted continent.

The United Nations decided to intervene in a conflict in Congo-Leopoldville, a state founded after independence was granted to the former Belgian Congo in 1960. They sent a troop of 155 UN soldiers, all Irishmen, untested in battle, to combat the mercenaries who had been employed by the State of Katanga which had seceded from Congo-Leopoldville. They were to protect the remaining Belgian settlers in the mining town, only to discover that they were unwanted because it was felt that the UN was meddling in the politics of the country.

The movie captured the terrifying ordeal of the A Company as they were ultimately abandoned during the five day siege. They received scant assistance as the powers-that-be played political games, leaving them to eventually surrender. Upon their return to Ireland they were reviled as cowards and were never given the recognition they so justly deserved.

Image result for siege of jadotville

Image:Lmonline.com

The movie is based on the book by Declan Power, The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle; a gripping drama that will horrify you when you realize how small and insignificant we are when human lives are used as pawns in the game of power and politics.

 

Image result for siege of jadotville

Image:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfP5AQiHZyE

Featured Image at top of page:http://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/siege-jadotville-review/

See also :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jadotville

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2016 in movies,, Uncategorized, war

 

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