Δευτέρα, 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

IMDb - Review for "Les neiges du Kilimandjaro"

Art and Life: Thoughts on "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", 16 December 2012

Author: Costas Papachristou from Athens, Greece

The question is simple but is far from being rhetorical: Should Art be an imitation of life, or should it be the other way around? The advocates of realism will surely make the first choice. In their view, life is full of ugliness that Art must faithfully portray, with absolutely no recourse to artificial embellishments. Often, the artist cannot even see the difference between realism and pessimism. In the case of cinema, in particular, the audience must leave the theater filled with dark thoughts and feelings of vanity. Happy ending is a taboo, and the positive message is hard to find (since life itself doesn't support it).

On the opposite side of realism, idealism reserves a more noble and ambitious role for Art; namely, to create high standards of thinking and behavior, thus offering psychological, ideological and aesthetic motivation for man to overcome the inherent weaknesses of his/her nature and reach these standards.

Robert Guédiguian's wonderful movie "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (France, 2011) masterfully balances between these two opposite philosophical trends. On the one hand, there are the hard realities of our time: the economic recession and consequent unemployment, the growing youth resorting to crime, the refutation of the visions of the Left, and the (non-glorious) compromise of the latter with modern neoliberalism where there is no social care for the weak.

On the other hand –and these are the elements progressively dominating the film up to the final catharsis- scenes of incredible beauty parade through the eyes of the viewer, exhibiting a triumph of friendship, humanity, forgiveness, solidarity (a worthy substitute for absent state care)... And, above all, love and togetherness that keep a marriage alive over time and against the difficult challenges of life!

We left the theater full of positive thoughts and feelings. Finally leaving behind the painful memories of sickening movies by Michael Haneke or the Coen brothers...

Source: IMDb

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