Trinh T. Minh-ha attended a recent screening of her film at the Cleveland Cinematheque and cautioned the audience before viewing that she's not into psychological realism or narrative drive. Okay, but even taking this film on her terms, all I experienced was a pretentious, preachy exercise in "artistic" self-indulgence. Even if she's not into psychological realism, does that have to mean she's not into acting? The "actors" sounded as if they were reading passages from socio-political texts. I could not engage with them on any level. Does avant-garde have to mean nondramatic? I fully support the filmmaker in her ideas on female empowerment and anti-colonialism, but if she wants to express her ideas in a visual, rather than textual medium, she needs to do more than create a lot of pretty images in red and yellow.
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