7 items from 2011
Too Fast To Be A Woman?
When South African runner Caster Semenya won the women's 800m at the 2009 World Championships, she must have anticipated attention. She can't have imagined that hers would become, if briefly, the most discussed sporting identity on the planet, as doubts of varying credibility and delicacy were raised about her gender. This documentary chronicles the scientific, legal and political brawl prompted by Semenya's triumph – and reminds us that, at the heart of it all, a clearly gifted and dedicated athlete is left wondering if she'll be allowed to compete again. Andrew Mueller
When Maxine Peake's brassy barrister, Martha Costello, scrawls "Ng" (not guilty) on a case file in lipstick, you get a sinking suspicion of »
Xan Brooks joins Jason to review the week's other releases, including Oscar-nominated financial documentary Inside Job, Truffaut's Day for Night, Confessions and Justin Bieber tour film Never Say Never.
Jason SolomonsXan BrooksIain Chambers »
- Jason Solomons, Xan Brooks, Iain Chambers
This whole thing seems surreal, and it’s the perfect buffet for the creativity-starved story crisis monster that’s smashing around Hollywood right now eating buildings and not paying parking tickets. Who might have known that originality would come from a true story. Mark Henderson found himself in 2003 among a group of hostages taken deep into the Colombian countryside by the National Libteration Army (Eln). After over 100 days, they were released to safety, but a year later Henderson received an email from someone claiming to be one of the kidnappers. That was followed shortly by a facebook friend request. That was followed by Henderson making a documentary about his kidnapping and his journey back to the very place he was held hostage to meet one of his kidnappers face to face. Check out the trailer for My Kidnapper yourself: Beautiful stuff. A few of the shots look so professional as to be staged a bit, but »
- Cole Abaius
In My Kidnapper (2010), three members of a group of eight backpackers who spent 102 days in captivity after being kidnapped in Columbia in 2003 return to the country to confront the men and women who detained them, in an attempt to finally put the most distressing experience of their lives behind them. The film plays out as an anthropological analysis of the effects of being kidnapped, and how this event has irrevocably changed the lives of those involved.
The film's main focus lies on one member of the kidnapped group, Mark Henderson (who also directs), and immediately we are invited into his mindset as he describes how hard it is to be going back there, and how the presence of a Colombian Army escort only makes matters worse.
The personal tone expressed by the opening sequence is present throughout My Kidnapper, and as we closely follow Mark’s journey it resonates profoundly »
- Daniel Green
My Kidnapper, 2010.
Mark Henderson was one four tourists kidnapped in Colombia in 2003 by members of the National Liberation Army, Eln. A year after his release, his kidnappers contacted him via email. My Kidnapper is the story of director Henderson and his four co-kidnappees’ return to the place where they were detained for months to meet with their kidnappers and get closure.
The greatest struggle in this film is to understand Mark's relationship with the kidnappers. He questions it himself but never seems to dig much further into it. Rather, he makes an exposé of what the life of a captive is during and after the kidnapping and while the struggle is being presented as one of the film's focus points, it is an issue that never really gets fully addressed. It is an eyebrow-raising discovery to hear how the kidnappers invited Reini and Mark to their wedding, »
Mark Henderson's charged documentary revisits his kidnap in Colombia. Can he and his captor be Facebook friends?
In 2003 Mark Henderson was one of eight tourists captured and held by leftwing guerrillas in the Colombian mountains. His documentary is both a self-styled "search for closure" and a gripping survivor tale in which Henderson (joined by three other survivors) retraces his steps, relives the ordeal and interviews the captor who friended him on Facebook. The abduction, it transpires, turned out to be a disaster for all concerned. The former hostages are still haunted and volatile. The freedom fighters saw a propaganda coup blow up in their face, while the local peasants are still living in poverty, hating guerrillas and paramilitary alike. My Kidnapper – charged, complex and always compelling – revisits the ruins and speaks to the ghosts.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is »
- Xan Brooks
Mark Henderson had been held captive in the Colombian jungle for three months. After his release, he'd managed to put his ordeal behind him when his former kidnapper contacted him. It led to an extraordinary journey
You can't fault Mark Henderson for enterprise. In 2003, he was kidnapped by leftist guerrillas in a remote, mountainous jungle area in the north of Colombia and held for three months. The experience would have broken many people, and few would have wanted to relive it. But as well as being a victim, Henderson is also a film-maker, and here was a powerful story, albeit a painfully personal one. When, out of the blue, he got an email from one of his kidnappers, a young Colombian called Antonio, he knew he had to go back and make a film.
It could have been an adventure movie: he and seven other young backpackers are taken at »
- Stephen Moss
7 items from 2011
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