Saturday, November 24, 2007

El Violin (Keman?)

Give me a film with the word 'violin' in the title and I'll go to the pictures. This film was in south american Spanish and had Turkish subtitles. Another triumph for the reading of body language....The film was advertised as 'Keman, El Violin', but I don't know if this is a Turkish word or whether it's a name. Internet now up - it's a name....

I came in a bit late, but essentially it was about some internal war situation in a South American country with the regular army and the guerilla army. Neither of them too sensitive about what methods they employ....we saw the regular army taking over a village; the village women and children decamped, it seems surprisingly calmly (no news cameras about, no opportunity for histrionics). At this stage I was ready to leave, thinking it would be a gruesome war film. I suppose it was, but not all that gruesome after this scene.

A young man, his father and son, are just returning to the village, when they meet the refugees. The young man goes to investigate, his father and son join the refugees briefly, and then they all join the guerilla army. The old man, Plutarco, goes off on a donkey to the regular army occupiers of the village - though he could easily be shot, given that he is a one-handed violinists which stretches everyone's imagination just a bit.

In fact the village commander likes the violin, finds out Plutarco can play by tying his bow to his arm (and gee, it sounds like it, too), and so he holds the violin hostage and Plutarco has to come and play every day. But Plutarco has his own game....

The film is slow moving and shot in black and white. When the language does not work, it becomes a bit challenging...It was interesting, though. Strange thing in this cinema (in Turkey??) - in the middle the film suddenly stopped and everyone went out to get a drink or nibbles. No alcohol of course. We are in Turkey.

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