Monday, March 26, 2007

[HKIFF] Day Night Day Night

And I've Packed You a Happy Meal

Mention films about suicide bombers, and movies like Syrianna and Paradise Now comes to mind. Films that try to explain the rationale behind the driving force of these persons dedicated to destruction and murder, and while those stories had the usual male bombers, Day Night Day Night took on a more interesting angle, and looked at the role of female suicide bombers - those that don't really fit the usual security profile, and are usually deemed as lower risk of being detected before they execute their plan.

In her first fictional feature, director Julia Loktev takes a long hard look at the journey of a 19 year old girl played by Luisa Williams. Attractive, petite,you won't understand why she has to do what she wants to, and the story doesn't explain. This is almost in parallel to real life, where you read reports of the aftermath, and are presented with little clues to their background.

Loktev weaved a tale from seeking out the terrorists, meeting them, going through their rites and procedures, before being accepted for the mission, complete with the making of the video, and the fit up of the device. Most times you don't get to see much, as the camera angles are extremely tight and full of close ups, to accentuate the waiting, and to allow you to focus on the girl, and her thoughts, and her apprehension, despair, and a host of other emotions.

I thought Loktev too took quite a neutral stand in not stereotyping the bad hats, that indeed it can be anyone, people from abroad with different cultures, or the home grown and bred haters of society. And that is true because terror can come from anywhere.

This is not an easy movie to sit through as it's deliberately slow and nothing much really happened. But as a movie that attempts to narrate the process from civilian to combatant, this fictionalized account will probably be as close as you can get.

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