Mary Poppins Returns
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (10)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (3)
Superbly conveys its themes of despair and lost opportunities.
Consistently moving but never quite coalesces into a strongly coherent whole.
An achingly beautiful look at the most tragic victims of the longtime war in Chechnya: children.
The acrid fog of war is palpable in Pirjo Honkasalo's magnificent documentary, The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, one of the saddest films ever made.
Honkasalo's self-consciously high-art approach seems likely, at least for American audiences, to render an already remote conflict even stranger and more exotic.
A harrowing docu look at war and militarism's wounds, as seen through the eyes of Russian and Chechen children.
Steeped in the pain and sadness of war-torn children who have seen so many lives come and go around them[,] it forces us, too, to bear witness, if only for a hundred minutes.
Melancholia leans heavily toward propaganda, but the movie is well done, albeit almost overwhelmingly dark.
Honkasalo moves somberly and way too slowly through these three linked scenarios, and the droning score may induce sleep in the eyes of audience members.
Nothing is sadder than a child who has experienced tragedy, but no trap is easier to fall into than that of dwelling on a moping kid until the image loses its meaning.
"The Three Rooms of Melancholia" is a trio of short documentaries from Finland:
1) A military academy of boys who are around 10-12 years old in Kronstadt which is near St. Petersburg.
2) Black and white footage of the devastation of the Chechen capital, Grozny. We are introduced to a woman who rescues orphans.
3) In a nearby republic, these orphans are sheltered on a farm. In the distance, we can hear warlike sounds that are reminiscient of thunderstorms on a summer day.
This film starts off subtly while we are being introduced to boys at the Russian military academy. In fact, I'm not really sure why we're there until we are introduced to two boys whose lives have been affected by the war in Chechnya - one of Russian parentage who was found there and another whose mother is serving in the armed forces there. News footage is also shown of a terrorist attack(the footage is repeated in the third segment). It is only till later in the film, that the military academy seems very troubling indeed. The documentary draws a direct line from scenes shown in the first segment with boys being shown how to kill at the military academy to the devastataion of Grozny to the refugees who are struggling to find a new life.
"The Three Rooms of Melancholia" is a cinematic essay on the effects of war but it concerns itself mostly with those who may one day be fighting it themselves. I saw little difference in the boys in Russia and Chechnya but a great deal of difference in how they were raised.
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