Saturday, October 11, 2008

STELLET LICHT

STELLET LICHT
(SILENT LIGHT)


Cornelio Wall, Maria Pankratz, Miriam Toews


Pelikula: Spanish Film Festival




Let's see now - here's a film directed by a Mexican director, Carlos Reygadas which is set in rural Mexico. But it focuses on a married Mennonite farmer with 7 children who is having a passionate affair with another woman. They speak in a dialect called Plattdeutsch which is of German/Russian origin. But there are English subtitles so you won't get lost in translation. Because there is a tendency for one to simply tune off from sheer frustration while watching daily life slowly unfold in this unique film. Minimal dialogue in a strange language with scenes of wasted footage of nothing and anything thrives through out the movie. Then you have blaring sounds like the crunching of feet on snow, the stillness of the sun as it rises or crickets at night which can drill your brain into numbness. Well that's just the physical/technical aspect of the film.

In essence it dwells on the conflicted soul of Johann who is deeply troubled for being unfaithful. He talks to his father and his friends about it. They all offer different opinions but mostly tell him he is doomed. He is torn between his wife and the other woman. He is filled with regret and guilt. Just as he decides to turn a new leaf, a life shattering event occurs which further catapults him into remorseful moments. A certain scene towards the end merits further scrutiny and discussion as to what really occurred. There are several and different interpretations regarding that scene. Talks of reincarnation, deep slumber and reawakening come to my mind.

I admit that this film won't appeal to the mainstream. It takes a certain type of audience to appreciate this sort of movie. An audience intelligent and patient enough to sit through scene after scene of nothingness without getting bored. An artistic work of seemingly nothingness yet infringed with deeply spiritual tones. My advice just be open minded and don't expect too much from this film. Or else you will end up hugely disappointed.

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