The Rocket, Closed Curtain & A River Changes Courses at Sydney Film Festival

Four films in total actually but one is short film so I'll put that review at the end of the festival.

The Rocket (Australia/Laos) 

official trailer

Laotian Road movie. To be honest the plot wasn't very creative or impressive but the whole setting made the entire film stand out. All the fascinating Laotian cultural details and historical background differentiated the film from just a ordinary adventurous road film. It was entertaining and eye-catching. The Aussie director Kim Mordaunt's love towards the local culture clearly helped to earn a round of applause in the audience but i think most claps goes to the local actors' convincing acting, or perhaps that wasn't that much of an acting for them. Which was why i felt like rushing to the stage to hug everyone of them when they presented themselves as a 'surprise' after the end roll.

Closed Curtain (Pardé) (Iran)  

official trailer

This is a film i definitely need to re-watch. Weird, confusing yet utterly interesting.

I don't know how to describe this film. The intro text on the festival pamphlet says it better 'a portray of melancholy'. It doesn't have a clear plot, or rather the plot is insignificant in this film. A sht load of surrealistic metaphors and symbolism (or maybe just me reading too much). The film is not to tell you a story, it's more of expressing something. The something could be melancholy or something else that maybe cannot be easily described in a few words, which may be the reason why director Jafar Panahi made this art piece.

I've seen a few reviews that the second half gets really confusing and not as good as the first hour. I agree with the confusing part, but to be honest it was the confusing part that thrilled me so much that i nearly couldn't contain myself and had to bend my body over so I could get closer to the screen. So many characters and scenes that hardly make any sense but to me that's what makes this film so interesting. I literally had goosebumps, yes i was THAT thrilled!

As i've said i just have to watch it again. Amazing creativity.

Also if you're reading this, go google the director Jafar Panahi. He deserves respect, and his Silver Berlin Bear for Best Screenplay.

A River Changes Course (Cambodia)  

offical trailer

Another documentary in my film fest schedule. This one focuses around Cambodian villagers as they struggle through life trying to adapt the changing environment and economy.

Being a doc film itself it's slightly less organised compared to Blackfish. It's somehow segmented, which i understand because there were just too many subjects to cover within this topic. But that leaves it a broad intro into the villagers' lives, not that it's bad.

I don't really know how to review documentary as always. And I do always believe that most documentaries deserve watching. This definitely belongs to one of them.

The scene of some garment factory workers made me think, what were they thinking when they were sewing out clothes? One piece of clothing on their hand could cost most than their monthly wage. What were they thinking when they are working so hard and gave up their dreams to work for people they don't know just so their families can have a slightly easier life?

And those companies, their thirst to cut down more forest and clear these villagers lands to make more money. Their world looks oh so corrupt but their world is our world too. Our actions will eventually affect their lives and future and their forest and the animals that live there.

This is why I believe filmmakers continue to make documentaries that are basically repeating one major theme. That's because we need to know, we need to remember and then we need to act.

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