Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jason goes to Docfest--Day...12?

I don't know, I've missed too many days. Anyway, it was last Monday. Two movies.

First up, ON COAL RIVER, a movie about coal mining (particularly strip mining and mountaintop removal), Massey energy, and the effects on the local population. Taking as a jumping off point a "fill" (not waste, that would be illegal) pool that is poised just above a local elementary school. The heroes work to get a new school, clean water, etc. Even walking all the way to D.C. to meet Senator Robert Byrd. It's pretty easy to sympathize with them, and the movie seems to make a conscious decision to keep it a personal narrative rather than digging too deeply (no pun intended) into the economic questions. There are quite a few people shown who support Massey in particular and mining in general--it's the economy there, and they don't see a lot of alternatives. But by keeping it a personal narrative, I think it makes it a more engaging movie.

And I followed that up with BAS! BEYOND THE RED LIGHT. It's about a dance school for girls who have been rescued from the brothels of Mumbai. And that's quite a jarring dichotomy. One moment, they'll be talking about how they were abducted (often sold by their own family) or we'll see an interview with a trafficker, and then the next minute you see them practicing their dance routine and you see quite a lot of joy. I have to admit I dozed off from extreme exhaustion at a couple of points during the movie. But what I stayed awake for was alternately traumatic and inspiring, and the final dance video is really good.

And that was last Monday at Docfest

Total Running Time: 158 minutes
My Total Minutes: 213,009
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