by Donne Paine
Even though the cool weather is behind us and more outside activities are drawing us to cleaning out our garages or planting new shrubs, don’t forget to allow time to catch a good film or two this month.
BROOKLYN (4 stars)
Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Julie Walters, Domhnall Gleeson
Directed by John Crowley
An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. (source: www.Imbd.com)
This film was so much more. I couldn’t help think about my maternal grandmother, who at age 17 left her family with her new husband never to return to her parents and community. When she arrived in New York, she did not speak the language and had to trust strangers for guidance. Although she has long passed, I remember the stories of her passage to America, the crowded boat, the confusion and the loneliness.
Brooklyn, though set in America and Ireland decades after my grandmother’s arrival, resonates a theme for understanding and compassion of those who came, and still come, to our country for a better life. Enveloped in a love story, this storyline is beautifully told.
I want to give a shout out to Julie Walters, one of my favorite British actresses, who inserts a little comic relief in the drama as Mrs. Koegh, the boarding house landlord.
I loved this film. It is wonderfully casted and directed. If you missed it the first time around try to catch it now.
THEEB (3 stars)
Venice Italy film festival award winner
Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat, Hassan Mutlag Al-Maraiyeh
Directed by Naji Abu Nowar
In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.
While set in western Arabia in 1916, the movie was shot entirely in Jordan, using mostly non-professional Bedouins, whose powerful presence onscreen is a testament to both their talent and U.K. born director Abu Nowar’s working methods.
Recently orphaned brothers Hussein (Hussein Salameh) and Theeb (Jacir Eid) are from a family of pilgrim guides, living a traditional Bedouin life. Their relationship, terrifically delineated, is warmhearted and playful, with more than a touch of protectiveness in Hussein’s gently mentoring spirit toward his younger sibling. One night a British soldier and his Arab escort Marji appear out of the inky desert blackness, asking to be guided to a well near the Ottoman train tracks.
Despite the soldier’s brusque behavior, the rules of Bedouin hospitality demand that he and Marji be treated with due respect. Hussein agrees to guide them to the well; Theeb wants to join, but he’s told to stay behind. Instead, the boy follows. Tensions rise when they realize they’re being watched though remarks by the soldier indicate that the British are keen to destroy the train lines, protected by Ottoman troops and an assortment of local renegades and allies.
This is the Second Sunday Film series film selection Sunday, March 13th at Coligny Theater. Proceeds for the film will be directed to Habitat for Humanity.
The aim of the Second Sunday Film Series is to bring unique films within several genres from foreign language, documentary and independent film categories.
Beautifully shot, Theeb is a real film treat.
Sources: www.variety.com; www.imdb.com