22 April 2007

Understanding Others

IMDB: House of Sand and FogLast night, thanks to BBC2, I watched a film that I have been meaning to see for a couple of years: Vadim Perelman's adaptation of the Andre Dubus III novel, House of Sand and Fog. I was not disappointed.

A tragic tale of an American divorcee ashamed of letting her family know the mistakes she's made in life and an Iranian Colonel trying to keep his family in the manner to which they were accustomed before they had to flee their home country, the character study provided an insight into some of the differences between Americans and Iranians, their contrasting moral codes and value systems.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen explored further was more about the Iranian family's earlier life in Iran and their forced exile. I felt this was a missed opportunity to provide further insight into the Iranian worldview. Nevertheless, it still compares favourably with Khaled Hosseini's debut novel, The Kite Runner, which similarly provides an excellent portal on Afghan culture. Both are highly recommended for anyone seeking to broaden their understanding of others' points of view in these days of global tension and regional conflict across the Middle East and Western Asia.

IMDB: Bamako ('The Court')On films, I should report back on my post earlier this month about the ten films shortlisted for the human rights film award, FACE (the Film Award of the Council of Europe). The winner was Abderrahmane Sissako's Bamako ("The Court"), in which representatives of African society put the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on trial in a backyard over loan repayments and their role in Africa's economic woes.