Foreign Film: The Beauty of the Unfamiliar

One month into the new year and Twenty Twelve is turning into a foreign film year for me. I already have seen In the ‘Land of Blood and Honey‘, ‘My Tehran for Sale’ and will see ‘A Separation’ later tonight.

The elegance of foreign film is in its inherent ability to transport us to an unfamiliar territory. The medium gently challenges us to think and dream in a different capacity. In doing so, the spirit of foreign film charms and inspires me to associate beauty with travel. Travel is a very good education. And educated minds are beautiful minds.

Cinema Paradiso is one of my favorite foreign films of all time (here’s a little snapshot):

Alfredo getting the reel ready and a captivated little Salvatore from ‘Cinema Paradiso’.

Experiencing this film led me to the discovery of the musical genius of Ennio Morricone. To get an idea of how cinematic music can uplift your soul, listen to this. Here is the theme from Cinema Paradiso, one of his classic compositions:

A life without art would be hollow. The art of the foreign film not only nourishes the human spirit with visual creative expression but it also develops the mind. When was the last time you watched a film where the characters did not speak in your native tongue? How did the story influence your outlook on life?

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Love and War: Genocide, Human Rights and Angelina Jolie

I’m excited to participate in the San Francisco private screening tonight of In the Land of Blood and Honey as there will be a panel afterwards featuring speakers from the Global Fund for Women and the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley. It’s a film re-living the Bosnian genocide of the nineties and tells the story of two Bosnians from different sides of a brutal ethnic conflict. There is a lot of press surrounding the event because of the face associated with the production. This is Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut and I believe she also co-produced and was involved with the writing. She’s all over it, but not in it. Here’s an interview with Angelina Jolie by Charlie Rose in YouTube format. The interview appears to be broken up into different videos so this is just ‘Part I’ and you’ll have to follow “screamingangie11” if you want to continue with this channel sequence. I think the beginning of the interview which also includes a trailer of the film will provide you with a good sense of why she embarked on this project.

I’m also excited for tonight since I get to see my friend Karen who was out of town for the Holidays. She’s very passionate about human rights in the Middle East and Taiwan. I  look forward to participating in one of her Amnesty International events in a couple of weeks – another screening featuring My Tehran for Sale.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film in a real movie theater setting. And the subjects for “In the Land of Blood and Honey” and “My Tehran for Sale” sound very compelling. Film, Human Rights, Foreign Lands, Culture and Politics in San Francisco. Not a dull blend.