Section: Cinema of the world (COW)
It is a black comedy set in 1991, when Yugoslavia started disintegrating. An anti-war movie that brings together two people in a world gone crazy, it does a great job of creating an indelible impression of the craziness of the civil war. "Thats the beauty of civil war. You never know who is on whose side."
The movie is about a colour blind truck enthusiast who cannot stop stealing trucks fro joy rides and cannot get a license due to his colour blindness, and about a pregnant junkie who on finding that she is pregnant decides to go to the beach to chill out. The film starts in true Tarantino style with two set of two gangsters - one set of truck drivers who are transporting guns hidden in their truck and another set of middlemen who are paying the truck drivers to transport the guns - killing each other simultaneously, ie, the truck drivers stab the middlemen and the middlemen stab the truck drivers at the same time. And they all die, leaving the truck, the merc and the money just lying around, forgotten by the dead.
Our hero, who is just being released from jail, decides on another joy ride, which got him in jail in the first place, and steals the truck. Our heroine nearly gets hit by our hero and she blackmails him to take her to the beach. They come from completely different worlds and have completely different lives. She thinks him to a be bosnian peasant and for him, she is as alien as any another woman. As they travel through the war torn country, sharing the experience of truck driving and pot smoking, they grow closer and ....
Screwball comedy has always been popular but this is not just screwball comedy but with a deep, cynical statement about the world around us. For example, there is a scene in the movie where the girl rolls up a joint and convinces the hero to try it with this dialogue, "alcohol, marijuana are the light drugs. Politics, news, war-mongering, communism, democracy, etc are the hard drugs" and I was like, "this guy (the director) knows his shit". I would probably add feminsim to that list of hard drugs but would it be covered under Politics? Well, it is a political movement but it is also a very personal movement and the motto "personal is political" tells us so, doesnt it? I think it means that the personal is political and so, it should be... Shit! this guy seriously knows his shit!
After they smoke up, they dance to some light music, oblivious to the world around them that is under war and burning. "I see great balls of fire, like burning haystacks." Wonderful, wonderful!
The director also puts in touches of irony. for example, she wants to pee and he tells to go behind a bush, to which she retorts," I am not one of your peasant girls. Take me to a loo." But the loo they stop at is so dirty that it would have been far more hygenic and cleaner to have gone behind a bush! The director tries to undermine the notion that civilization has brought better things for human beings when it is really that people think that civilization has brought better things.
I would not call it a revolutionary movie but it is a very good example of how cinema can be used to point out the inanities of the world and critique the privileging of the "civilized" world. If I ever make a movie, it will be something like this one...
Thursday, December 08, 2005