The latest round of film reviews from Seycen Inc.
When Pigs Fly/Le cochon de Gaza (2011)
If you haven’t been following along, I’ll remind you, I love foreign films, and this one’s a first for me – it’s from Palestine. The initial premise requires a willing suspension of disbelief. While out at sea on day, Jafaar, a Palestinian fishermen pulls out a Vietnamese pig from his nets. OK, get over the fact that a live pig could be fished out of the big blue ocean and focus on the fact that pigs are unclean for both Muslims and Jews alike and Jafaar now has a problem.
What follows is a touching, funny and poignant commentary on contemporary life in Palestine. While at one level it’s the implausible, but hilarious story of Jafaar’s various attempts to rid himself of the pig, the story unfolds against the backdrop of the harsh reality of Israeli occupation. Despite the cheesy ending, When Pigs Fly works as both a comedy and a political statement and I highly recommend it.
Derrière les murs/Behind the Walls (2011)
A French version of The Woman in Black. Well, not exactly, but close enough. A female writer with an undisclosed past sets up shop in a haunted house and children start dying. Who dunnit? Not a must-see, but an entertaining enough tale. Very beautifully photographed (I loved the clothes) and not too scary for me to watch on my own!
2 Days in Paris (2007)
Probably not interesting to everyone, but I loved this! Long-term partners Marion (French) and Jack (American) spend two days in Paris with Marion’s friends and family. As the anglophone half of a French/English partnership much of this was painfully familiar to me. Oh how I felt for Jack! The language barrier, the misunderstandings, the cultural differences, the arguments. I’ve been there and done all those things!
Like the Palestinian pig story, it works on two levels. One the one hand it’s a very accurate and funny portrait of the clashes between anglophone and francophone worlds. Be warned if you dream of having a French boy/girlfriend. They come with baggage in the form of friends and family, and this is an only slightly exaggerated version of what you can expect. On the other hand, it’s a wonderfully perceptive insight into what makes or breaks a relationship.
Genuinely funny and heartwarming. Great stuff. Now I’m going to watch it again.