Showing posts with label nomadism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nomadism. Show all posts

27 July 2020

Film review: Queen of the Desert (2015) by Werner Herzog, *****

Synopsys

Gertrude Bell, a daughter of wealthy British parents, has no interest in the social life of the London elite. Balls, receptions and the British aristocracy bring her only boredom. She wants to study, learn and above all see the world.

Aspiring to have at least some kind of activity in her life, Gertrude decides to find freedom and move to be with her uncle, who occupies a high diplomatic position in Tehran. From Iran she moves on to Amman and Damascus, some of the main political centers in the crumbling Ottoman Empire.

So begins her lifelong adventure across the Arab world, a journey marked by danger, a passionate affair with a British officer, Henry Cadogan, and an encounter with the legendary T.E. Lawrence.

With an all-star cast, including Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Damien Lewis and James Franco, Queen of the Desert is the uplifting, inspiring and extraordinary true story of one woman who, against all odds, changed the course of history.


Review

A gripping historical film on the life of an extraordinary woman who carved the life she wanted out of a hard world made for men.

We learn a lot about life in the latter part of the Turkish occupation of what is now Jordan and Iraq, areas where nomads roamed free without borders and ancient religions perpetuated irreconcilable conflicts.

Never seeking power she ended up making political decisions that are still relevant in the Middle East a century later. It would have been interesting if the movie had shown why she helped certain tribes rise to power through British help and not others. In the end, a successful but unhappy woman who spent most of her life alone.



17 October 2014

Recensione film: Il Matrimonio di Tuya (2007) di Wang Quan'an, *****

Testo italiano di seguito

Synopsis

Tuya is a young woman in Inner Mongolia (part of China) who lives with her paralyzed husband Barter and their two children. They are semi-nomad shepards and live off their sheep. Tuya can't cope with the hardships of providing for her family alone and is persuaded to divorce Barter and re-marry, but on the condition that the new husband will have to care for barter as well.

Review


Tuya is a strong woman, realistically attached to her land and her family, and especially her husband. She works hard to feed them all. But she is also an idealist, because she thinks she can bypass love by marrying another man who could then provide for all of them barter included. She tries with two suitors, but it is clear that Barter can't accept being sidelined while his beloved Tuya belongs to another man.

It is a film on the absolute value of love, which can lead to self-denial and masochism, even suicide, but can't accept compromises.

An intersting film on life in Inner Mongolia, now part of the People's Republic of China, where pastoral traditions mix with the modernity that comes with integration into China. The movie is a Chinese production and the characters speak Chinese, not Mongol.

Testo italiano

Sinossi

Tuya è una giovane donna della Mongolia interna (parte della Cina) che vive con Barter (il marito paralizzato) e i due figli in una zona semidesertica. La loro fonte di sostentamento è la pastorizia. Tuya però non riesce più a reggere la fatica e le responsabilità. Accetta quindi di divorziare e risposarsi ma solo con un uomo che si prenda cura non solo dei suoi figli ma anche di Barter.

Recensione

Tuya è una donna forte, realisticamente attaccata alla sua terra e soprattutto alla sua famiglia, compreso il marito Bater, restato paralizzato in un incidente, ed i figli. Lavora sodo e porta da mangiare a casa per tutti.

Ma anche idealista, perché pensa di poter scavalcare l'amore per poter assicurare al marito semiparalizzato un futuro sposando un altro uomo che si prenda cura di loro. Ci provano in due pretendenti, ma per motivi diversi Bater non può accettare di stare dietro le quinte mentre la moglie crea una nuova famiglia con un altro uomo.

È un film sull'assolutezza dell'amore, che porta fino all'autolesionismo e persino al suicidio per non fare compromessi.

Anche un bel film sulla vita della Mongolia interiore, parte della Cina, dove la cultura pastorale tradizionale si mischia con la modernità portata dall'integrazione con la Repubblica Popolare Cinese. Persino la lingua mongola viene ormai parlata mischiata al cinese.


02 January 2013

Film review: The Gods must be crazy (1988), by Jamie Uys, ****

Synopsis

Both instalments of the 'epic comedy of absurd proportions' about the dubious benefits of Western civilisation. In 'The Gods Must Be Crazy', a Coke bottle drops out of the sky to the amazement of the Kalahari Bushmen who find it: they believe it to be a gift from the Gods. The bottle initially seems to the bushpeople to be a miraculous blessing, and they use it for all sorts of different purposes - but before long it becomes a source of conflict as they start to squabble over it. Eventually, one of the men, Xixo (played by real-life Bushman N!xau) sets out to return the bottle to the gods from whom he thinks it must have come, and so begins his first ever foray into 'civilisation'.

In the sequel, 'The Gods Must Be Crazy 2', Xixo loses his children when they accidentally stow away on the back of an elephant poacher's truck while on a hunting expedition in the desert. Once again, Xixo must venture into civilisation to retrieve them. The only problem is, he is continually distracted by so-called 'civilised' people who seem be in greater need of rescuing than his children are.


29 December 2012

Film review: Winds of Sand, Women of Rock (2010), by Nathalie Borgers, *****

Synopsis

Amina is preparing to leave with the date caravan. Every year, she and many other Toubou women make this 1500 km journey from Agadez to Bilma, across Niger's Sahara, despite the danger, the heat (50°C) and the sandstorms.

For these nomadic women, the journey is the key to their economic independence: they sell their goats and bring back dates, and with the income from the sale of the dates, a family can live for a year. But Amina, a rebellious 26-year old, has had enough of this long trip. En route, she finds a friend in Mariama and, far from the men, the two young girls share their dreams of a modern, independent life. When they reach their destination, they try to put their plans into action. But Domagali is weary of joining them, and longs to go back to the Sahara, where the grass is free.