Monday, August 25, 2014

The Dirties and Watchers Of The Sky

My work schedule had me home in Melbourne for just a tiny bit of the Melbourne International Film Festival, which gave me two films to see.

The Dirties was my first film, at Collins Street's Kino. A coming of age teen story about bullying and cinema-obsession. Two lads set out to make a film, telling the story of their dream of revenge on the bullies at school who make their days hell - the "Dirties". Very black, and very funny, with their constant film references.

The bullying intensifies, as does the revenge plot. The cult movie references fly, and then the guns are introduced. I find kids holding guns so abhorrent, so this very real turn was confronting. But the momentum had built, and things get out of hand, almost nonchalantly - but it's just pretend, right? Just a movie? Shocking, and yet almost surreal because of the level of desensitisation we the audience and society has towards violence and film.

My second film was equally as grim in topic and lessons - Watchers Of The Sky is a doco about the genesis of the term "genocide". The story of Polish man Lemkin, and the use of his word in international legal processes - and how often, genocide continues to be committed and ignored, the world over.

Grim and depressing, the truth of the reoccurent nature of such horrors around the world hits hard - but the end note about the basis of the name of the film restores hope, miraculously. I hope that in my travels and my work, I too can be one of the Watchers, to make the world a better place.

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