|Index||3 reviews in total|
The story outline is simple and complex at the same time:
A young girl is picked to be slaughtered as a human sacrifice to
the "Python God". Her fiance is in the army at the front, his uncle, head of the army, delays the sacrifice until he returns to "say goodbye". This delay is supported by Sia's (the girl's) escape. In the end she is saved from death, but the structure of "the state", the religious
beliefs of the people, and in fact the love between Sia and her fiance are either ruined or turned out to be lies. In the struggle the state is overthrown, but the heroes of the revolution immediately turn into a lying, power-hungry class themselves immediately. In the end, becoming mad seems to be the only way of keeping a clear view of the world...
The movie supposed to be set in small village somewhere in central Africa. This village is basically "the state", whose army is engaged in some trouble at "the front". All sets, the town, the people are mere prototype and sometimes one has the impression of watching a theatre play instead of a movie, yet the impression one cen get from the african life is very well made. And the insiights into the internal entaglements, intrigues, lies and relationship of "the state"'s ruling class and the entire people are funny and alarmingly realistic at the same time.
This is an epic tale of political power gone awry in a mythical African kingdom. The intrigue of the film moves at a slower pace probably for most American audiences in the 1st 1/4 of the film but moves quicker the rest of the time. It may remind you of Othello with the lies, politics and deceit. The film originating in Burkino Faso is, of course, beautiful in color. The pace may indeed be a result of cultural differences in general filmmaking. But this is a tale with a story that is worth being told and one that makes a decided connection to present times.
It is clear that the stage play must have been a searingly powerful
experience. There are numerous metaphors proceeding simultaneously, and
most of them are pointedly identifying sins of modern politics. It
makes me wish I could have been there.
In an attempt to translate this to the screen, the artifice that comes natural to the stage feels awkward. The photography and the staging try to appear at least somewhat realistic. As a result, characters come across as one-dimensional instead of being archetypes. The acting seems wooden at times rather than being larger than life. The violence that would never be realistic on stage cannot make up its mind here.
But in all, it is still a wonderful document. There is a powerful punchline at the very end (last 10 seconds) that is not to be missed, and it pushed this up to a 7 for me.
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