Saturday, April 30, 2005

Seeds, Bugs, Grisly Movie Murders

So, another day, another movie. Soon the Tribeca film festival will be ending, and I will have festival withdrawal. Today I got in some mandatory outdoors time looking at my plants as they thrived in the rain. The other day, when it was sunny and windy, I planted some seeds: hollyhocks, morning glory and cosmos. This was a new frontier in gardening for me. I even nicked and soaked the morning glory seeds to help them germinate. Seed germination is fascinating, I think. When I was a kid I tried to growing things from seed and they pretty much failed, all except the corn I grew in our backyard, which matured and got silky and everything, but when I opened up the ears they were completely filled with bugs. I was so traumatized that I never gardened again. It's these childhood tragedies that one must work through.
So speaking of childhood tragedies....last night I went to the most devastating movie I'd seen in the film festival, one that was created initially because of the film-maker, Fanta Regina Nacro's tragedy. Her uncle was murdered by being slowly barbecued to death. As you can imagine, when I begin with this detail, "Night of Truth" (or Nuit de la Verite) was grisly. It was set in a fictional African country in the wake of an ethnic war between the fictional "Nayaks" and "Bonandes." The script was very tight and obviously influenced by Shakespeare. It raised an important issue in the motivation of genocide, the same thing that I saw in "Bastards of the Party," that idea that the killing in such wars becomes personal, about revenge, and is not motivated by any larger political, or even economic concerns. The Nayak president's wife sits at the graveside of her son, at the beginning of the film, haunted and enraged. Bonande children sit in circles in the other region, trading stories of their hands or legs being amputated, their parents being killed. They are all to meet that night to make peace with the enemies, but while the leaders think it best, the armies, the children, the followers are unable to let go of the hatred of the war. In addition to liking the film, I'm happy that it marks the growing prominence of African film-makers.
To completely non-film related things. I was talking to someone the other day who speculated that George and Laura Bush must have a great sex life. This is something that I find repugnant to think about. What are your speculations? My guess is that both of them are uptight prudes, but I could be wrong.

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