25 February 2009

Flow: For the Love of Water (2008) / Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)

This morning, I watched Flow: For the Love of Water. It was informative but it could have had just a little more information and just a little less agitating. Not that I have a problem with the political quality of the film, I just was hungry for more information. Of course such info may have been in the bonus features but our lack of remote control inhibits me from watching special features at work and I sent it back right after work so I'll never know. I think it's important for you and everyone you know to watch this movie. It's about the privatization of the water supply in third world nation and the role in that of the World Bank and the IMF, the safety of our water supply, the downside of big dams, the environmental impact of water and soft drink bottling plants, and a few suggestions for the future. It's engaging, informative, intermittently chilling, and often infuriating. A.

Then I watched that Roman Polanski documentary I heard so much about on NPR last spring/summer. It was engaging. It talked a little bit about the Sharon Tate murder but it was mostly about the case several years later where he was charged with having sex with a 13 year old girl. The film seems generally sympathetic to Polanski. There seems to have been a fair amount of judicial misconduct in the case. And there also seems to be some attempt to explain away his crimes because he's creative and European and survived the Holocaust, though the film isn't entirely uncritical of him. My problem is that for the most part it is lost in the film that if he hadn't been a celebrity he would have faced a far different fate. He had nude photos of a thirteen year old girl whom he plied with alcohol and drugs and raped. His defense was essentially that he was too fucked up to remember her telling him no. He's desired in Europe and WANTED in the United States. Sure, there may have been shady dealings by a publicity hungry judge and so forth but what is lost here is any perspective of the class inequality of the justice system. As someone who has seen firsthand the classism of the justice system, I was a little turned off by this attitude that he was almost treated like a real person. And that kind of burned me up. The American justice system is a scandal and most people don't even realize it. Anyway, while I found this movie engaging, I also found it to be from a rather privileged perspective which I found counterrevolutionary. C.

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