Friday, 20 May 2011


2009 by Yann Arthus - Bertrand

I have always been worried about poverty and the destruction of nature in the name of development. But to be very frank, I dont know what I ever did from my part. Nothing actually, other than forwarding some emails or posting some news on my Google Buzz about matters touching on poverty and nature issues. 99%, I am sure, those posts have not even set started a meaningful discussion. My wife would tell me, it is no use my husband, no body cares. And it is true that there were only a couple of occassions, in all my history of acquaintance with Internet since 1997/98, when some people ever responded with meaningful comments or discussions on the topics of poverty or nature. I just posted a buzz with links to the documentary HOME, and for the first time truly, sincerely I wish, please my friends, take this seriously, watch it and also make your friends and family watch it. Home is such an incredibly moving experience that each and every human being in Earth should watch it.

Home talks about life, how everything in nature is connected, countries have borders but not for nature, and how human beings who are only a later species in the process of life have endangered the very existence of our mother Earth through our own actions. All in the name of material welfare.

Home is a gripping documentary. At first we are amazed by the beautiful camera work, completely aerial shots, only once - when it captures the tallest structure in Earth in Dubai - will it have an eye level shot, which captures images from all across the world. However slowly we are shocked by the information we are told by the narrator even while watching wonderful frames.

There is no limit to the applause and respects Mr. Bertrand and his team should receive for this wonderful movie.

I simply wish, this movie is shown in each and every schools, colleges, offices, villages, towns, police station everywhere in India. I am surprised nobody spoke about this documentary yet, until my friend, Father. Jijo suggested it. I think he saw it in Italy, not in India.  Thank you Father. 

Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok Joint Security Area

2000  by Park Chan-wook

India shares some volatile borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. But never, our film makers made a movie on our borders, about those, the soldiers, facing off on both sides, other than some ordinary war movies. I am surprised I didnt realise this fact at all, until I saw this brilliant Korean movie, JSA. In fact, other than movies like No Man's Land, which is quite similar and different at the same time, as far as I know, there are really only a few movies on this subject, even from around the world.

When I read two lines about this movie, it felt more like Few Good Men, and could have been an adaptation, but for some reason I thought I should see this. And what an experience it has been. This is an incredible movie, much superior to Few Good Men, about soldiers from two enemy nations, once a single nation, also pointing out to the futility of war and its politics.

In the Korean border line, a shoot out occured on the North Korean post, killing 2 North Koren soldiers and injuring one. The South Korean soldier who did this runs across to his side with a bullet on his leg. The situation could turn really bad and to prevent a possible break up between the two nations, a commission of Neutral Nations orders an enquiry. A swiss officer, Sophie a law officer, arrives and investigates the case. She finds the reports from both sides completely contradictory. Slowly she manages to talk to the two soldiers, the South Korean accused and the wounded North Korean witness, and what unfolds is a brilliant story. A moving story of friendship, which was quite simple but with a violent and sad ending.

The movie starts in a bit mediocre way with the arrival of Sophie and her first attempts to talk to the soldiers. However, as the main content falls in, this movie raise itself to the level of a master piece. The different versions of the two soldiers, and the real happenings unfolds in pieces and in flashbacks and reminiscences  but its brilliantly scripted and directed. The scenes towards climax is just brilliant. So are many scenes which happens on the border. Scenes in which soldiers from both sides interact without any dialogues like the patrolling in the snow etc are so wonderful. It is the growing friendship of the 4 soldiers and the after effects, which is the heart of the plot and those are all shot brilliantly, I must repeat, its incredibly brilliant.

The final ending of the movie alone deserves some awards. In the first half there is a scene, few visitors, tourists may be, walking in the border from the S.K side and one of their's cap flies off to the other side. A N. Korean soldier picks it up and hand it over to his S.K counterpart. A tourist seems to take photographs of the scene. One of these photograph is shown at the very end and the camera pans through the various faces in the frame and this is incredible. It would make us feel sad and at the very same moment say 'Wow, thats brilliant'. I would say that is the real height of brilliant imagination. If I was to chose the most brilliant and touching last shot in any movies I have watched, I would pick this. Of course, JSA is not just about this last shot, but this single shot can vouch for the brilliance of the whole movie.

It is also notable that this movie does not try to point either of the Korean sides in a negative way. May be that could be the reason why it did not win a prominent award from the west, who have a favourite in the region and the plot is against their basic propaganda.