The year is 1999 and the storyline is actually a number of sub-plots all revolving around the 13-year old Clara, a girl that can predict the future and has telekinetic powers. The sub-plots... See full summary »
The year is 1999 and the storyline is actually a number of sub-plots all revolving around the 13-year old Clara, a girl that can predict the future and has telekinetic powers. The sub-plots include a boy in her class who has a crush on her, his family, her family and her principal that keeps talking French for some strange reason. Written by
Danny Paikov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A class of Israeli junior high kids has discovered a miracle in its midst. One of the students, Clara, a 13 year old Russian immigrant, has begun to see the future. This singular talent arrives suddenly like an unexpected blessing from the gods of puberty, and for a few exciting days, Clara's predictions about math tests and lottery numbers turn her world upside down.
And what a world it is. The film, released in 1996, is set three years in the future in an absurdist, industrial cityscape. The school kids talk tough about revolution as they tromp through polluted swamps and through streets lined with huge squares of beehive apartment buildings. The city seems on the very cusp of apocalypse, though it's not clear whether the final crisis will arise from a man-made ecological disaster or from the hand of God in the form of an earthquake. Meanwhile, the revolution threatens to develop into a new religion, with Saint Clara at the center. The entire city listens for her predictions, adult men get crushes on her, and of course the boys in her class end up fighting over her.
To complicate things for Clara, her powers may disappear if she falls in love. One of her admirers, Tikel, has a good chance with her though. He's obsessed with her violet eyes, and chicks always fall for that--at least in junior high. "I think your visions come from your eyes," he tells her.
"Saint Clara" really is about as good as films get. It is a beautiful thing to be able to imagine the near-future, accelerate the world's problems slightly, and then just continue to smile at life. In this way, "Saint Clara" is reminiscent of the irresistibly optimistic films Wim Wenders made during the 1990s. Perhaps the film's best surprise, however, is the voracious, adolescent energy which tints its vision. All the kids in the film are bursting with potential, thirsty for life; and the adults are sad but charming caricatures, thinly-veiled trolls and witches, forever dreaming of their lost youth. A naive misconception, certainly, but here it is also fantastically endearing.
Kudos to Kino Video for making this gem available on video. And don't miss the sweet little film at the end of the tape: "Personal Goals."
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