Beyond The HIlls & Child's Pose at Sydney Film Festival


Beyond The Hills (Romania) 

official trailer   

Best Screenplay and Best Actress at 2012 Cannes, that tells you how good this was.

Religion and Homoromatic Love. sounds like a very old school theme but this film didn't emphasise much on the 'homo' part. if the protagonists were of different genders the story would definitely be different, but most likely only a tiny little bit. In this sense the plot was actually quite similar to a lot of Japanese yaoi/yuri manga/novels (which totally awoke my fanboy heart, i mean seriously if you like yuri you'd probably enjoy this film a lot, the first half at least)

The film is based on an actual event in 2005.

The title basically summarises the whole theme. 'The Hills' act as a barrier separating two worlds with different values and beliefs. The film itself focused mainly on the one beyond the barrier, an orthodox convent. While it clearly points out the giant hole in such communities it remained relatively neutral (trust me in the case of this film it could've easily gone way too criticising) and at the same time from a few snapshots of the 'outside' world we can see that it ain't too much fancier. Therefore even though the major cause is still within the convent there's a part of it that mutually exists in the whole society.

To be very honest with you I've never ever liked a priest or reading bible and I really do enjoy films that criticise (some) Christianity but this film i really don't think it went that far. Even though they did terrible things in this film you can still see that the starting point was good. However that cannot justify anything and I guess that's the other theme and conflict brought up in the film. A good cause leads to a tragic ending. Does your bible tell you that it's ok? I don't know but in a society that's built on a legal system this is still guilty. The law says no but what do we say?
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Child's Pose (Romania)

official trailer
Golden Bear at 2013 Berlinale. Another amazing film and coincidently another Romanian film. Now i'm just fracking in love with this land and its language.

Same language same country but very different perspective. The protagonists come from a wealthy family, a spoiled son and a spoiling mum, against a family of much lower 'social status'. While it intentionally did a whole bunch of sarcasm of the governmental system the main focus was still on the relationship between the mother and son, or more specifically the mother. How she tried to please her son, help her son and worry about her son. Is she a good mother? Probably not the best. (frankly speaking she's not a good citizen either) But she does share some of the most fundamental emotions that (most) mum carries.

The unexpected blackout leaves the film a kinda open ending. I guess you can go with a more negative explanation of the end but I personally prefer to think that the son could finally relate a bit to the mum, from seeing what his mum did for him or seeing the victim's parent mourning his boy, probably not so much but enough to give him the courage to go out and apologise himself. Did they actually realise what kind of damage they've made to the poor victim's family? Maybe, more or less. They may be snobby and mean and selfish but from some details in the film they're not that stone-hearted.  
-spoiler ends-

Both films are just so beautifully made and constructed and deserve every prize that they've won. I was surprised the cinemas weren't full. Highly recommend to everybody, especially if you are looking for a different taste from hollywood productions.

Extra note: if i have to pick, Child's Pose would be my favourite drama this SFF.

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