31st Cleveland Film Festival

On Sat­ur­day I saw 1.5 films at the 31st Cleve­land Film Fes­ti­val. The first was called A Map for Sat­ur­day and was a self-doc about a guy who quit his job to spend a year back­pack­ing around the world. It was inter­est­ing to see, since he is about my age, and it wasn’t real­ly a doc­u­men­tary with the intent to Teach You Some­thing. It did tend to glam­or­ize the process a bit too much and sort of implied that any­one can do this if they want to. The $20k he spent on trav­el in that year says oth­er­wise though.

The sec­ond film was called Bamako and it sucked. It would have been good as a mag­a­zine arti­cle or an in-depth piece of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism, but as a dra­ma and film it was awful. The half-assed plot is com­plete­ly sub­sumed by “ordi­nary cit­i­zen” wit­ness­es who speak like expert econ­o­mists and/or Marx­ists [not that they are Marx­ists, but it wouldn’t be sur­pris­ing if they start­ed toss­ing out terms like dialec­tic and util­i­ty.] to a court that rep­re­sents the World Bank or IMF. What the film real­ly is about is how the West has destroyed and con­tin­ues to destroy Africa. About the only thing I got out of the film was that the ordi­nary peo­ple of Africa don’t have much of a voice in world affairs. Unfor­tu­nate­ly they didn’t have it in this film either. Pep­per­mint and I left after about an hour of the blah-blid­dy-blah.

Also, the guy in A Map for Sat­ur­day didn’t vis­it Africa on his world tour.

4 Replies

  • I saw both of those movies last Fri­day and also fell asleep dur­ing Bamako. I woke up dur­ing the “wild west” scene very very con­fused. The best part of that movie was my nap.

  • Yep — it’s not pos­si­ble to do Europe on the cheap. We’ve spent about $20000 so far in 8 months. Most of the mon­ey is for rent and food and train tick­ets. I think I could do it for 10K if ’twas only me, tho.

    We’re real­ly excit­ed about going to Moroc­co next week. For the first time we’ll be escap­ing what we per­ceive to be the “Euro­pean” per­spec­tive.

    The West is destroy­ing the world and the world is destroy­ing the world as well. Did you see Blood Dia­mond? I thought it did an excel­lent explo­ration of the dif­fer­ences in per­spec­tive between haves and have-nots.

    I’m down to 2 t-shirts now and a total of about 30 pounds of pos­ses­sions. Smith lent me his and I’m feel­ing glam­orous, like my wardrobe is great­ly expand­ed.

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