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Kipp’s DIFF round up

Kipp’s DIFF round up

Although the Dubai film festival has become an established annual event, many in the Emirate still miss out on the best of modern cinema. Let this year be the DIFFerence.

December 9, 2010 4:03 by



THE KING’S SPEECH: The diffident Duke of York (Colin Firth) is the younger son of King George V. Just as well as ‘Bertie’, as he’s known to his family, is a shy man afflicted with a dreadful stammer that makes public speaking a nightmare. Though he may not be first in line to the throne he still has to make speeches and, after many failed attempts, his wife Elizabeth finds an unlikely solution in the colourful form of Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an eccentric Australian actor/speech therapist whose method of dealing with the King’s speech impediment employs a variety of decidedly unorthodox treatments.

PASSION: Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Mongolian landscape, Byamba Sakhya’s ‘Passion’ is a fascinating look at Mongolian film history. He follows Binder Jigjid, son of the legendary Mongolian director Jigjid Dejid, as he takes his films from village to village trying to eke out an existence. ‘Passion’ tells the compelling story of a complex relationship between artists and the system and the impact of social and political transition on individual destiny. The question of whether film is primarily a business or an art form looms large over this beautiful film.

AN UNFINISHED LETTER; Mrinalini, a troubled, aging actress is writing her suicide note. As a performer, the first lesson she had learnt was timing – the perfect moment for making an entrance or an exit on stage. On the stage of life, her entrance had been outside her control; but she wants to at least choose the moment of her exit. However, before taking a final lethal dose of pills, she decides to destroy all her memorabilia, lest it falls into the hands of the press. She has been a victim of media attention all her life and wishes to be spared that at her death. As she looks through the old box that contains relics from her past, memories flood the night. Incidents that she had forgotten or had relinquished to the furthest corners of her mind now return to haunt her and through these memories, an entire life is revealed – a life of loves lost and gained…

TELL ME WHO YOU ARE: This is the story of a couple. Above all, this is also the tale of a passionate woman, a woman in love, with a sense of pride who seeks to come to terms her solitude, her desires and her guilt. ‘Tell Me Who You Are’ is a family story concerning a bourgeois family in Bamako, Mali. Tensions are rife within this household: Mimi, bored with her stifling marriage, wants to leave her husband Issa and start a new life with her lover, Aba. The resulting contradictions are a mirror image of those of the Malian middle class, existing within African society and all its traditions. The characters are a source of views, expectations and reactions which either are helping Mimi to move forward, holding her back or which leave her hesitating, torn between two possible paths. Just like her filmmaker husband Issa, she is inspired by her surrounding environment, what she sees and hears and by what she makes all of this. But in her case, the scenario is not a film-set – it is real life.

AMIN Amin is a postgraduate music student, researching for a doctoral degree at the Kiev Conservatory. As part of his study programme, he sets out to explore the increasingly elusive folk music of the ancient Qashqai tribes of southern Iran. This journey of discovery – a fascinating exploration into the heartlands of Iran and the uncovering of a once-vibrant cultural force now eroded into near-obsolescence – is absorbing enough. However director Shahin Parhami’s beguiling film soon pulls back the film’s focus to explore Amin’s own life, his forlorn, threadbare existence forming a melancholy counterpoint to the haunting music he discovers in the empty pastoral landscapes and quiet back alleys of the district. The result is a powerful meditation on collective cultural loss as seen through the eyes of a man, as much on a quest to find himself, as the ancient music he so desperately seeks.

IMAMS GO TO SCHOOL: A group of apprentice imams at Paris’s Great Mosque undergo a programme of secular training, in order to comply with new social regulations. They train at the Catholic Institute of Paris.

SUICIDE CLUB: At sunrise, five strangers unknown to each other, assemble along the edge of the roof of a high-rise building. They all have one desire – to commit suicide. However the ‘Suicide Club’ – the influence of John Hughes”The Breakfast Club’ is clear – soon find themselves thwarted by a succession of increasingly farcical events. As the day wears on, up on the rooftop, the would-be suicides turn inwards upon themselves. Tensions spark and flame, raw emotions run high, alliances and fragile confidences are slowly built and shared along a spidery web of tentative trust. The rooftop becomes a stage upon which the characters each unravel their personal journeys to this ultimate point in their lives. Using the intensely-paced interplay of his complex, substantial characters, director Olaf Saumer creates a fascinating and enthralling psychological drama which questions not only the motives of the assorted group of protagonists, but the nature of the society that drove them to such desperate measures.



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