Saturday, November 11, 2006


The Forsaken Land

After working out, I went to "2006 San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival" this afternoon at Castro Theatre and I watched two films back to back.

The Forsaken Land The first film I saw was "The Forsaken Land."

In a remote coast village in Sri Lanka, a family lives next to a military camp in the shadow of the never ending civil war. Their lives are so lifeless and drift around with the hush wind and the emotionless sexual activities.

Watching "The Forsaken Land" is a treat for the eyes. It's perhaps the reason it won Cannes' Caméra d'Or prize. However, the film is super slow in pace and it's not for common movie goers.

Not only it's slow, it's also quiet. After about 20 minutes into the film, only two sentences are spoken in the film. And then it goes another 10 or 15 minutes or so without a single word. It reminds me a lot of the film making style by Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮).

But the film keeps building up mysteries around these characters. Who are they? Why do they live here? What is the military is doing there? Who is that girl? That old guard? What did the girl see? By the end of the film, there are many questions left unanswered.

While the film is telling a haunting story about the misery of its characters, most likely the images are what would stick in our minds.

My rating: 6 out of 10.

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