Stringing my Life Together: Purishpa takini, takishpa purini.

Nuzhat al-Fuad and SIFF
2008/05/01, 04:03
Filed under: Uncategorized

This week is the Syracuse International Film Festival, I’ve wanted to go to it the past few years, but it was always during finals and I couldn’t make it back from Potsdam to go.

Now I’m home! So my friend Tara, a fellow foreign/independent/classic movie aficionado, and I are heading out to whatever showings we can fit in to our teaching schedules.

The first movie we were able to catch was Nuzhat al-Fuad. Interesting. Not my favorite…not the beautiful cinematography that I was expecting. For the first 30+ minutes, I was not interested, and it wasn’t until the plot picked up that I was fascinated by the story line. Some of the shots were unnecessary, I thought. Shaky closeups that did not mean much to the viewer…why use those shots over something else? A little pretentious or cliché trying to be so “out there?” I’m not sure. However, there was one scene when the two main female characters were in the hospital…comparing their experiences with abortion and a miscarriage, and there was a large window open, that was dividing them. One an actress, the other a writer. Different worlds…parallel lives…they tried to light a cigarette through the glass. Very poignant.

All in all, I felt the movie could have gone deeper with the plot rather than being such a smattering of things. It felt disorganized watching it. The film was grainy and colors and lighting were pale…angles were not always visually stimulating. However, I really appreciated it’s exploration of people dealing with death. A father and daughter dealing with a mother’s suicide… a mother and daughter dealing with fatal leukemia…incorporating stories of the Arabian Nights and Scheherezade and how people try to evade death, if even for a moment. Did the water symbolize fantasy? Anyone out there see this and have other interpretations? I’d give it a 5 out of 10. Perhaps another watch would help me understand more of the symbology and hidden meanings, but I’m not sure if I liked it enough to want to watch it again. Very different from the other Israeli film I’ve seen, Ushpizin.

Tomorrow night is Italian!


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