>It’s a sad sad world

>

Import/Export (Austria, 2007) – Olga is a nurse who lives in a small apartment with her mother and her baby in Ukraine until she decides to move to Austria alone. Pauli is an unemployed austrian man who decides to move to Ukraine. They have one thing in common: to pursue a better life. In the beggining of the film, the camera documents Olga’s daily life, and then exchanges to Pauli’s. East and West look so similar that it’s hard to distinguish one from the other, except from one small detail like language. When the roles are inverted and each of the protagonists start living a new reality, the similarities are even more frightening. Olga begins a journey of one unpleasant job after the other, ending up as a cleaning lady in a institution for old people. Pauli joins his step-father in the extra company of booze and young prostitutes. In both worlds, human relations are dominated by coldness, indifference, jealousy and despise. Olga’s daily winter walk to the hospital she worked in Ukrania was tough, but much colder is her new life in Austria. I praise the film’s critical idea in embracing two characters in order to show how different worlds at the first sight might have so much in common, however, I’d rather see one single film about Olga, as Pauli’s story wasn’t as appealing. Most of the time I wished the attention was directed to her, wondering more about her life and thoughts. It never happens, one will never know about her past, but can guess what’s left in her future. The film ends without quite ending, without giving a solution or making judgements, and in this sense, it’s clearly pessimistic.

I have recently read Blindness (Ensaio Sobre a Cegueira in the original portuguese title) by José Saramago, and I was speechless, although completely moved by the honesty of his words. It’s not every day one embraces a contemporary author and doesn’t want to let the book go for a second, I literally slept with it and woke up with it by my side, allowed by a temporary sedentarism of my life. It’s one of the books that you try to read slowly, so the pages will last longer that you can enjoy it for one more day, although you wonder so much about that world and those characters that you can’t help swallowing one line after the other until you’re completely done with it, and that makes you sad. Then, of course, you wanna know everything about the author, and read more by him. When the reading was complete, it was time to reflection, and even now I find myself thinking about us, the human race. I have no quotes from the book to share, as I read the original in portuguese, but there’s a trailer above from the movie adaptation, which opens soon in some countries.

A documentary film that shocked me deeply, Sharkwater, should be distributed in every single place of the world. I don’t know where I have been, or perhaps, how the media has been irresponsible for “hiding” certain facts (again!), but it seems like 100 million sharks are killed a year, so stupid rich people can enjoy a tasteless shark fin soup at dinner. They catch the animal, cuts off its fin, and then throw the carcass back in the ocean, so it can bleed slowly for days until its complete death. The worst of all: all this killing will affect our own very lives in the future. Sometimes I wake up and I think, how hard it is to believe we’ll be here tomorrow.

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11 Comments to “>It’s a sad sad world”

  1. >i hate pessimistic movies. some are worth seeing, for their beauty or insight. but there is enough depression in the daily news. wars, floods, earthquakes, bank failures, religious feuds, killings, rapes.my heart hungers this year for a good romantic comedy. there's not enough love in the world. correction: the world is full of love, they just don't make enough movies about it.

  2. >oo interesting first film. and i totally know what you mean about reading books like that. i always get conflicted, should i read it straight or take breaks to process and let it last longer? often i block time out so i can just read it uninterupted. and i often get so obessed i research everything about the author- their life, photos, interviews, favorite books as well. i love how so many new authors have blogs these days 🙂 and i really really LOVE the quote this week, so true!

  3. >Não gosto de filmes pessimistas, e não sei direito se você gostou ou não de "Import/Export".Eu também já li "Ensaio sobre a Cegueira" e posso dizer que é um dos melhores livros que eu já tive o prazer de ler. Acho que o material do Saramago daria para fazer uns três filmes….E, que foto linda, a utilizada para falar sobre "Sharkwater"!

  4. >You're words about Saramgo's piece are very curious. I'm dying to see the movie because I love Meirelles work and the previews are great, but I would've really liked to have read the book before the movie. But at the momento that's very difficult for me. After the movie, definetly!Anxious!Ciao!

  5. >Seraphine, you watch the movie and it doesn't feel that pessimistic or anything for a while,however I had this feeling by the end. It might be just realistic as well. Some scenes were sad for me (relating the old people in the institution), but a very few people in the theater even giggled in certain parts..:-SI agree with you, I'd rather see a film that cheers me up than one that depresses me, as long as it's a very special film, like you pointed.Jayne, I couldn't really stop reading it, I was so into the story. You should read it sometime as well, it's brilliant, a story that could take place anywhere and anytime. Kamila, eh quase como se fosse dois filmes dentro de um, e nesse sentido eu gostei da historia da personagem Olga. Mas o filme todo em si, eu nao gostei muito, justamente pq nao me cativei pela historia de Pauli. Sei bem que vc leu "Cegueira", e foi sua descricao sobre o livro naquele dia em casa que me despertou a vontade de ler essa obra. Ja havia reservado na biblioteca ainda em Natal:-) E concordo sobre a riqueza da obra, que renderia outros filmes e ate mesmo uma minisserie inteira se fosse adaptada pra TV."Sharkwater" tem algumas belas imagens, mas nao eh um filme que eh grande em termos cinematograficos, mas eh belissimo e humano na mensagem que nos passa, no alerta que faz pras geracoes presentes. Todo mundo deveria ver, no cinema, baixado (como eu fiz) ou alugado.Wally, the good thing about waiting to read a novel after watching the movie is not judging it so much based on the book. Especially if it's a book one loved. But I've learnt to separate both things, and from the trailer, I feel like it will be a good film, although my expectations are even higher than that;-)

  6. >Quero muito ver esse filme, ainda que os comentários não sejam tão positivos. Já "Blindness" é o que mais aguardo para esse segundo semestre, ainda que não tenha conferido a obra ainda. Abraço!

  7. >both the film and the book sound fascinating, thank you for the tip!

  8. >Não tenho problemas com filmes pessimistas, e Import/Export me interessou muito com essa sua análise. Toma que não demore para chegar aqui. Sobre o livro do Saramago também li recentemente e fiquei extremamente chapado. E é isso mesmo que você diz, dá vontade de ler o mais devagar possível para que ele demore mais para terminar. Cada parágrafo que o cara escreve é um espetáculo. E ele escreve de forma tão pessoal que me encanta. Recentemente estou lendo um outro livro dele, O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo e estou adorando, da mesma forma. Firei fã. Abraço!

  9. >Rafael, entao vc sabe muito bem do que estou falando, imagino que estamos longe de sermos os unicos a se envolverem tanto na leitura desse livro genial. Ler mais do autor esta definitivamente na lista de leituras futuras. E tomara que o filme austriaco chegue aih em breve. Abs!

  10. >oh i read the book, blindness, in turkish. probably something was lost with the translation as its unavoidable but its in my top 10 list. so moving, so real, so honest- as u said. reading it in the original language would be really great, if only i could.

  11. >Deryik, I'm sure the book's greatest meaning wasn't lost in turkish or any other language, and that's the most important thing. The theme of his writing is so universal, that, his words, translated or not, are able to reach all sort of readers.

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