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.