TIFF ’08, Continued

I will be finishing up my film festival posts here in the near future, but will probably have to do them one at a time. Home again, I’m stretched thin by all the “home” responsibilities — family, work, house, yard, politics, etc. So here goes for today:

Dernier Maquis — French

The basic story of this film and the way it was put together was very good. Muslim immigrants, African and middle eastern, working at a pallet construction business who are dealing with a French Muslim boss who they don’t trust and the selection of an imam for their new mosque (which, incidentally, the boss built for them). I felt very “industrial” all the way through the film, no relief except one brief excursion into nature. Other than that very short escape on the canal, I felt somewhat imprisoned in the setting– mountains of pallets, the pit of the mechanic shop and the starkly functional new mosque. Anxiety with and the underlying distrust of the boss and frustration over the selection of the imam build and boil over as the individuals seek a voice. Everyone, no matter who they are or what situation they are in, needs to be heard and this film, to me, portrays that need.

This is not a pleasant entertainment film. It is a hard, harsh, abusive film. It is a film that shows the frustration of not only immigrants (regardless of their legal status) but of all human beings when their perception is that they are not being heard. In my opinion, it shows what can happen anywhere when people are not only NOT heard, but treated as though they don’t even have a voice with which to speak.