Good morning, America. I got a bit of rest the past few nights. Through further conversation and some processing time, I have been able to better collect my thoughts.
As mentioned in a previous post, a few of us were incredibly moved by a Serbian film directed by Srdan Golubovic, Circles. So much so that we had to see it again before leaving Sundance. Waking up early to stand in the wait list line was not ideal, but it was definitely worth the wait.
The film was even more incredible watching it a second time. Knowing the full story this time enhanced the moments that were meant to cause the audience to empathize with the characters. The repetition and parallels in story were more evident in the second viewing and powerful enough to bring us to tears. It was such a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption that resonated with us deeply.
Following the film, there was a Q&A session with the director and a few of his crew. His passion and humility shined through as he spoke of his intentions for making this film. It was encouraging to see a director so ecstatic about simply having an audience to share his story with. Furthering the credibility of the film, Circles won World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award.
There Will Come A Day, an Italian/French collaboration, was a masterpiece of visual poetry. The protagonist is a young woman struggling with a recent divorce caused by her inability to have children. Due to her circumstances, she feels the best thing to do is to get away from the world she knows. The film follows her journey through the exotic Amazon and documents the different relationships that blossom. The landscape in which they shot was displayed beautifully in the cinematography and shot choices.
In my opinion, the performances were spectacular, but I didn’t personally connect with the story. However, I did have several things fighting against me, such as drowsiness and still pondering about Circles. If I were to see this film at a different time, I hope I would be able to appreciate the reflective theme it had. My emotions were a bit spent at that point due to seeing 11 other films previous.
Directly after seeing There will come a Day, we saw the film, Fruitvale. Many of us were anticipating seeing this film because of the overwhelmingly positive comments which had been floating around the Sundance community. It is a film based on a true story of a man named Oscar Grant, who was killed in a fit of racism and police brutality. Not only was this an incredible and emotional story, but it also raises very important issues that need attention. There were very few dry eyes in the theater when the credits began to roll. Not only did the Sundance audience think this was an beautiful film, but so did the Sundance jury. It won this year’s U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, as well as Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Film.
What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love , a foreign film from Indonesia, was certainly the most interesting film that we have seen thus far. It started out a bit like a foreign version of Moonrise Kingdom. However, the story quickly turned into something we were not comfortable with. Much of the content was inappropriate and unsettling. There were moments we liked, such as certain shots and a few themes portrayed in their relationships. But for the most part, it was a confusing and disturbing film. I would not recommend this to anyone, nor see it again.
Overall, Friday was a bit of an odd day and we were exhausted. But it was well worth it to experience the variety of experiences the filmmakers had to offer. I feel blessed to have seen so many fantastic films and experience Sundance with some of my closest friends.
- Krista Rose Koester