A meditation on civilization. July, 2001: friends wave as a cruise ship departs Lisbon for Mediterranean ports and the Indian Ocean. On board and on day trips in Marseilles, Pompeii, Athens... See full summary »
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Maria de Medeiros
Maria de Medeiros,
Joaquim de Almeida
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A meditation on civilization. July, 2001: friends wave as a cruise ship departs Lisbon for Mediterranean ports and the Indian Ocean. On board and on day trips in Marseilles, Pompeii, Athens, Istanbul, and Cairo, a professor tells her young daughter about myth, history, religion, and wars. Men approach her; she's cool, on her way to her husband in Bombay. After Cairo, for two evenings divided by a stop in Aden, the captain charms three successful, famous (and childless) women, who talk with wit and intellect, each understanding the others' native tongue, a European union. The captain asks mother and child to join them. He gives the girl a gift. Helena sings. Life can be sweet. Written by
contrary to many of the reviews. I especially agree with the reviewer from Hong Kong, who stated that this is indeed, similar to real life, and he is in a multi-cultural city, where many languages are spoken.
Although I am from the U.S., I have traveled, and have experienced similar situations wherein people are acquainted. I guess one of the problems is that in the U.S., unless you are in one of the coastal cities, you are not familiar with multi-culturalism. This is sad, because I feel that Hollywood caters to the lowest common denominator in America (In Paris, for example, I do not think they would market "The Dukes of Hazzard"). I for one am tired of films which cater to the 12-17 year old demographic, or just the generally ignorant masses.
John Malkovich is interesting, and Leonor Silveira portrays a professor, traveling with her daughter. The cruise departs from Lisbon and is to arrive in Bombay, sometime later. We see some exquisitely filmed scenery, Apollo, Pompeii, Cairo.
Malkovich is the ship's captain, and has guests of honor at his table including the lovely Catherine Deneuve, Stefania Sandrelli, and Irene Pappas. Each woman represents a different culture, and they exchange ideas and ideologies with Malkovich. This is a very interesting and realistic portrayal of people's varying impressions. They discuss Greece, the origins of language, and religious ideology.
At one point Malkovich invites the professor, Silveira, and her daughter(Filipa de Almeida) to join his group at the table. He also purchases a doll at one of the ports of call, in Morocco, I believe, and there is a parallel story of countries, politics, and possessions, for which the doll is a metaphor.
You will see at the end of the film the significance of the doll, and the allegory it represents. Quite a good story, and a relief from the usual American movies we are bombarded with.
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