Film Reviews

a film by Marco Kreutzpaintner
Germany/USA 2007

A Review:

This film is playing in the Filmhouse, but as you do, I downloaded it. This was a mistake because watched it on my own.
It is a film about the illegal trafficking of women and children into the sex market.
It is a film about reality, more horrific and disturbing than any imaginary horror film you have seen.

The film is simple, without any spectacular scenes designed to terrorise the viewer. Instead, we are shown some kidnapped persons taken through the tunnel, from Mexico to New Jersey, as if it were a normal, regular process. As if it is something that happens all the time. As if it is something that is happening right now, in a town near you.

Because the film is so simple, the feelings it leaves you with are real, and therefore, all the more unbearable. When I watched it, I didn’t know what to do. You see with the side of your eye something so ugly, and big, like a being formed from the vaporized stench from a pile of a million billion dead bodies. It sits next to you in with such noisy silence. Can you turn and look at it? Is there anything you can do about it? And how will you go on with your days, how will you make sense of your everyday pleasures, if you don’t “just forget about it”?

It was a mistake to see this film alone because no one around me knew how I felt afterwards, and no one could speak with me about it. Everyone else was distanced from such pain, as we all are in our daily lives, and they could access it only intellectually and ever so slightly. And a minute later they are laughing about something else. And I was left with the dilemma of looking at the unbearable and not knowing what to do about it, or turning my minds eye away, ignoring it, and be guilty of intentional oblivion. And oblivion is whole that once you start digging it, you dig it so deep that you can’t climb back out.

The question is, how do we deal with the real pain of other people around us? How can we deal with it, and how ought we to?

I was given a good piece of advice today and I would like to end by sharing it with you:

“What to do? Forgetting in some sense is necessary, you cant really carry on your shoulders all the problems of the world. Oblivion, in this case an emotional one, is a form of focus. And focusing we can act better in our surroundings (in a general sense) and do some good, like your work at your job.
I'm talking about a specific form of oblivion which does not entail a complete forgetfulness -- the information is still there, it's just in a closed area. On the other hand having from time to time these feelings helps to keep some perspective.”

What will your reaction to this film be? What will you do?

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