Tuesday, 8 June 2010

a Chinese and anJapanese film

There has been a variable mixture of watching and listening experiences over the past few days. My first choice is a Chinese film Seventeen years which was a revelation. A middle age Chinese couple have daughters by previous marriages and the daughter of the wife kills the daughter of husband and serves seventeen years in prison. She is discharged in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations because of exceptional good behaviour and after her family fails to respond to an advisory letter a prison officer accompanies the young woman, she has become, to the parental home, only to find they have moved, and it is late in the day when they are found. The wife admits to receiving the letter about the visit but puts off telling her husband for fear how he will react. He is stunned by the arrival and goes off to sit in the dark in the bedroom while his wife prepares food for their guests as well as having tea from a keep hot container.

Eventually the husband is able to talk and confront his step daughter. He explains that he has dreaded this day and had thought of moving out of the home, and he would have done this had his wife told him in advance. Then in one of the most truthful and moving moments in the cinema he communicates his love for his wife, the loss he has felt and his wish for them to become a family and the prison officer discretely and with equal sensitivity leaves them together. For once fundamental issues of crimes and punishment within a family are dealt with honestly, realistically and with great love and understanding. It is one of the best films I have seen this year and was shown on the Australian Sat channel World Vision. I appreciate that the film can be regarded as a propaganda message to the Chinese people about how easily a small incident, in this instance a few coins of little value can lead to such great tragedy and years of suffering within the family and one suspects that in real life the outcome will never be as good, but this does not take away from what I have said about the film overall.

I also part watched a Japanese film about two brothers who become infatuated with the same girl and when she dies, one brother is accused of her death and her other brother and their father support, until the trial when it is first revealed that the girl had a lover which begins to explode the defence and then when the brother is supposed to provide good character testimony he stuns everyone, especially the defence lawyer by revealing that he witnessed his brother push the girl off the bridge. The film moves to several years later but it was at this point I decided I needed to concentrate wholly on something else and that I would watch the film with attention another time as it has also been listed several times on the new World Movies channel. I only mention now because of the similarity between aspects of the two films.

No comments:

Post a Comment