John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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I love this movie and would not mind owning it. It is a reminder of what happened to artistic freedom in Iraq.
Ghobadi shows us the brutal world of war torn Iraq in his latest cinematic wonder. I was spellbound for the entire film.
So mystic and dreamy movie.
I like so much, the resist for stage and saving to women for sing.
Ghobadi refreshes the parts within us that few filmmakers can reach these days. Another exhilarating, poetic experience.
This movie is what's inside: the mystical breath taking road. It's just it and it's everything. Life is not the destination, it's all the way down it...
[img]http://www.twitchfilm.net/archives/pics/140.jpg[/img] [b][size=3]I have always been a fan of the work of Bahman Ghobadi. Small, lyrical and full of meaning, his films have always seemed to be in some ways like poetry to me. On the surface perhaps they may seem to be quite simple, but actually upon further reflection quite complex and no matter what the story, filled with a sense of hope.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]His latest film, Niwe mung (Half Moon) finds Ghobadi shifting these ideas and gears a bit and treading more deeply than his previous works into the mystical, metaphoric areas of his thoughts. This movie also showcases a darker, tragic (while still maintaining comedic, slightly slapstick in some ways situations) side of his thoughts. Even in its tragedy, there is still the sense of acceptance, hope and even happiness at what will occur here. While this is no A Time for Drunken Horses (my personal favourite of his) or Turtles Can Fly (his most sucessfully recieved film), it is, in its own right another good addition to a small but interesting body of continuing work, but one that may be his least successful.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]I fully can see that films of this type would not be for everyone, nor will this type of a film ever become a blockbuster in any sense of the word, but I highly doubt that such thoughts would concern (or even enter the mind of) Ghobadi when making his films. He seems a man of strong desire, will and convictions in what it is he is putting to film, and someone who makes what he sees and thinks, not pressured into thinking or doing what others may want or see as more commercially accepted.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]Comissioned by the Vienna New Crowned Hope Festival as one of the movies in trubute to the 250th anniversay of Mozart (Ghobadi says that Mozart's Requiem was the inspiration for this film), this is, in most ways his most metaphoric piece of work, and so, perhaps for many his least straight forward and accessible piece of work. It is (in my thoughts) his darkest film, and one that I saw in two ways, part comedy, part tragedy. This is also his first film to employ Western persons in the making of it.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]At the center of this story is the character of Mamo. An older Kurdish man living in exile in Iran. He has not been allowed to play and sing for 35 years, and after working for 7 months (something that has already occured before the beginning of this film), he is finally secured permission to enter Kurdish Iraq with is sons to give a concert of traditional Kurdish music, and so thus revising a part of their culture that had been repressed and lost for so long.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]Our first meeting of him comes as the bus he has hired to take him and his sons to Kurdish Iraq stops at a hillside graveyard to pick him up. There we find him laying in a grave (which immediately strikes me, and it seems him, with the knowledge of being his final resting place) and it is here that we are treated to our first (of many) scenes, images and sounds of a coming incident.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]While sharing a great deal of his time on screen with the bus driver (who is one of three major players here and is cast as the comedic other half to this very tragic story), this is Mamo's movie, and story. Famous and well known throughout Iran (and Iraq) for his efforts to secure the ability to travel and perform, he is recognized and (especially by Kurds) seen as a hero, icon and important person (both positively and negatively depending on ones political and personal thoughts) by all in this film. [/size][/b]
[b][size=3]This is in a great sense a road story, with the bulk of the film being shot and taking place as the (quite large and diverse) group of sons are picked up and they attempt to forge their way across the country and into Kurdish Iraq. Mamo is a man of very strong convictions and this brings one of the most (to me) memorable and important scenes within the movie.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]At one point (much to the protests of his son and the bus driver who understand what could happen to them if they were caught with this singer) Mamo insists that they stop to pick up who he sees as the only person whom can sing what he has prepared for the group, a singer named Hesho. Unfortunately she is a women, and in a country where women are not allowed to be singers, nor sing with men, she has been exiled (along with over 1300 other women) to a remote, guarded town in the mountains for her crime of singing (this is a true situation). Bribing the guard of the town (who is aware of who Mamo is) his enterance into the town and the scene and music within the town are one of the most powerful and moving of this or any of Ghobadi's films (to me). Here, like in so many other cases he simply but potently showcases an issue and the plight of many in his country.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]As much as I enjoyed this film, there were things that I found difficult about it as well. Being that this is a very mystical and metaphoric film (it is after all based on the directors ideas stemming from inspiration found in a piece of music), it does, after awhile become in some ways (to me), a bit... repetative. While many of the scenes of fortelling and personal understanding of what will occur to Mamo are very well shot and interesting they seem to drag as we know what the final outcome will be and by repeating them again and again it seems in some ways to be trying to delay the eneviable. That I do not think was totally necessary. I did find by the end of the film and with the meeting of the second singer (whose significance and meaning was not lost to me and was in fact quite in your face and non metaphoric by that time) my desire for them to come to the conclusion had greatly increased.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]This film is also, in some ways, filmed in two parts. Part one, while dealing with many issues it is wrapped in comedy, and part two is serious and darker with an abundance of metaphoric imagery. I am not opposed to either of these things, but in some ways they seemed a bit disjointed in their construction to me.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]I can see some persons finding this film difficult to accept in the way that scenes play out. Many things that occur to these character is never shown but is told as a... this is just what happened to me.... story. Sons and other characters disappear quite quickly at times, often with little or no explaination as to where it is they went or with whom This may give the film (for some) a sense of falseness that personally did not really bother me. I think that if one were to look at the context in which, content of and places this film was made they would see that it is a very daring film that showcases and says many things about the times, laws, and culture it is from. Many issues such as police corruption, womens issues, censorship, oppression etc are brought up here and perhaps in some ways it was filmed as it was in order to get past the censors in Iran. ( Indeed I have heard that it did not get past them in its original form and was changed but was supposidly recut again for world release to include things not allowed at home). Also in some ways the amount of not really knowing where persons disappeared to may ring true to real life situations that happen in this region of the world.[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]Whatever the case, this will be a film that I am fully aware is the type that will probably play the majority of its showings at film festivals (as it will at the End of April 2007 in the United States in New York and did here in Taiwan last September , but happily as well just came back for a regular showing). Too bad, for while I know that this film will be a tough sell to many and not something that would be the choice of many whom would like a night out at the movies, it is, like all of his work a movie that is very interesting, has many things to say, and is, in all senses of the word an enjoyable independant film in the truest sense of the meaning.:D 8.5[/size][/b]
[b][size=3]Niwe mung (Half Moon). 2006. Iran, Iraq, Austria, France. Director, Bahman Ghobadi. Languages, Kurdish and Persian[/size][/b]
[color=lightblue]These are just a few of the adjectives than can be used to describe this film. Stories like these remind us how easily things come to us and how safe a road we have to obtain our goals. It may even make one realize that they actually have no real goals or certainly very little of the passion needed to make good things happen. Maybe stories like this will not motivate everyone, but at least this one will surely stir some emotions that don't always see the light of day. [/color]
[color=lightblue]I would have liked to have seen the concert, I am sure it was one for the ages...I guess if Mamo did not get to see it, we do not deserve to see it, either.[/color]
after a great start it really really looses steam and direction in the middle to end sections. disappointing.
The interesting thing about this movie is that it is about musicians but that it is surprisingly unmusical. And as it should be since the story is about the impediments to life (and music) that exist for the Kurds. The characters are wonderful but the collecting of the ensemble diminishes rather than enhances the story, which rambles through the stunning landscape but never getting anywhere. Magic does exist: the rascalian humour of the bus driver, the village of the exiled female singers, the death of the musician. A flawed film but oh so much better than most North American fare.
A road movie by definition but this one is a little more interesting to me because takes place on iran/irak an got some politics in the mix with bits of drama, comedy and surrealism.