I attended my final film for the festival last night. Of course, the festival goes on for another five days or so, but I've just run out of film-viewing time. I've work to do and a suitcase to pack to leave for my holiday on Friday.
The final film, 'Even the Rain' was engrossing. It uses the conceit of a film within a film - an idea that is sometimes just too clever by half, but that worked very well in this case. A film director (acted by the charismatic Gael Garcia Bernal) and his miracle-working producer are in Bolivia to make a long-planned film of the 1512 rebellion, led by a local chieftain and supported by two priests, against their oppressive colonisation by Christopher Columbus. Unwittingly, and against his initially hard-headed producer's advice, the director casts as the chieftain a local man who is leading an uprising against the privatisation of the town's water supply. The film creates many opportunities to contrast the oppression of the original colonisation with the film-makers' practices of paying low wages and exploiting the labour of the local people. One of the film's strengths is its demonstration that people's moral stances are not always consistent and all-of-a-piece; that even the most apparently righteous person can abandon a moral stance to preserve something precious to them. This is a very generous-spirited and politically aware film that absolutely draws you into its drama. I'd not be surprised if this film is awarded the audience choice award for the festival. A 4 out of 5.
Miss Fee sent me today a link to a most entertaining article by eccentric, rude and irrascible Sydney journalist Bob Ellis, arguing that all politicians should be compelled to go to the film festival to learn about other realities and appreciate different viewpoints. How one wishes this were possible.