Seventh BIFFes: Day Two

06 Dec. On day two of the Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes), a good treat of three films. Due to my Byatha visit (a special day!) I had to cut short my BIFFes experience.
First of all, I was a quiet witness to a few cinefans arguing with my students since they did not get film summary catalogues. It’s not their fault; organisers have not learnt their lessons. They should have printed sufficient number of books and made arrangements to distribute. And then on, the students would have done a good job of it!
But one thing: my students managed the impatient, disappointed cinefans quite deftly! But politely! They are learning the tricks of crisis management!

Started my filmy day with Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall (2014, UK). Ken Loach is a Brit. You also must know that he is an Anglican. So this Anglican vs Catholic saga has been designed as a politico-religious propaganda.Situated during the Irish freedom struggle (1919-21). So, when a film-maker provides “facts & figures” and dates and years, you tend to believe! So, it works with Jimmy’s Hall. But I wonder if those without the first-hand experience of (the UK and) Ireland will ever realise the propaganda in Loach. The two countries share a bitter past over imperialism. Religion becomes a victim, and that is the tale told by the dominant party. Ruling ideas of a ruling age are the ruling ideas of a ruling class, says Karl Marks. There you are! But credit to Ken Loach; the film works very well.

The next one was Aaron Fernandes’ The Empty Hours (Mexico, 2013) about a young boy Sebastian trying to fill his empty hours at his uncle’s motel. Brilliantly narrated in visuals, the film makes an immediate impact.

The third and last of my day was Serge Frydman’s Now or Never (France, 2014). The emotional saga of this film is not lost on the viewer. The piano teacher has her bag stolen, and once she challenges the thief, she wants her bag to be stolen, but not by anybody else! I thought the music (it’s about a piano teacher, after all!) comes alive in the film. So is casting of the emotionally-loaded protagonist.

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