Friday, June 26, 2015

Reflections on the Kampala Euro-African Film Festival of June 2015

They are serving a sumptuous visual feast in Kampala. Its all happening at Cineplex,Cinema at Oasis Mall. It is bigger and better than the last outing which was last year at Theatre Labonita. The film selection are excellent indeed and this time around we have selections from afar a field as Romania. And they are serving an engaging visual menu as well. A Hijacking: A Danish take on sea pirates intertwined with a hostage drama which contrasts sharply with the Tom Hank's Captain Phillips. The tone is not condescending and there is an intelligent depiction of the Somali pirates without lazily demonizing them,with commendable nuance. It's free from Hollywood hyperbole and almost a phenomenological treatment of Somali pirates. The lead played by a Danish Sea transport company CEO is a remarkable one as he seeks to take matters into his own hands and negotiate the release of his men while going on an emotional roller coaster in the process. Marussia: The French-Russian feature film about a (willing)homeless mother and her young daugther on the streets of Paris. Very heartfelt indeed. An almost romantic treatment of a homeless mid-30's attractive Russian mother who is in a self-imposed homelessness. Despite her destitution she has a pride and dignity about her that is admirable.There is however need for a resolution in the story as it plods on without much break and is a little tedious to viewers despite the heart-warming story. Hotell: A Swedish mental health drama about an upper middle-class woman who lives in denial after delivering a brain-damaged baby and decides on an eccentric therapy. With a bunch of colleagues from their therapy group,they head out to a new hotel each day where they act out their fantasies making for unlikely relief. The bald-head comic relief stands out for me. Of Snails and Men: A Romanian comedy and by way the funniest movie in the ensemble. A state-owned car factory is closing down due to bad economic times and the factory is up for sale to a French business man and his son. That is until the workers devise a hare-brained strategy to save their jobs: sell their sperm to an American sperm bank. Run and Jump: An Irish-American film that makes an intimate portrait of an Irish family where a father has a stroke-induced mental disorder and there is a live-in American psychologist on a case-study research project. The researcher gets more than he bargained for posing critical ethical issues.

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