Watched Fanta Regina Nacro's Bintou today. This lovely film portrays Bintou's struggle to educate her daughter. It reminded me a lot of rural Indian society, where women don't usually go to school, as its an added financial burden. In this film as well, Abel (the husband) is against the concept as there's not enough money to fund their sons' education itself.
But Bintou is adamant. She figures out a way to get a loan to start her own millet-sprouting business, which is a success. In the process she invites the wrath of her husband, because Abel fears that the newfound financial freedom would lead her to adultery.
The husband spies on the wife. And overhears Bintou's plans for a rendezvous the next afternoon. He plans to trap her red-handed in the act. However, when sneaking up at the place, he's spotted by some women who beat him up thinking he is an auto-thief. Bintou somehow helps him out and informs everybody that Abel's her husband.
The conclusion was lovely when its clarified that the afternoon meeting was that of a women's self-help group. One of the women tells Abel how lucky he is to have a wife like Bintou, who is so eager to share the financial responsibility of educating their children. In turn, which is what I liked even more, she tells how lucky Bintou is, to have a husband like Abel, who loves her so much. I guess it was all about perspective. The fact that Abel feared his wife's adultery (and all the crappy thoughts) was completely overshadowed by the fact that the cause for all this was his immense love for her. Hmm.
The last scene is even better. Bintou declares that her millet-sprouting business has helped generate enough money to fund two of their kids' studies. Abel can fund the second son's education. And he accepts. Their love for each other is superbly reflected on the screen, and it works magic.
Also watched Joël Vanhoebrouck's Joséphine. It was hilariously creative. And there was this statistic that 99% of men will not talk to the woman they're interested in.. And this wasn't even India !
I liked this synopsis very much:
"Nowadays, in an appartment-building in Bruxelles (or anywhere else...) men and women cross paths. In the hallway. In the staircase. In the elevator. Men and women looking for something. Looking for each other or for themselves, it doesn’t really matter... And sometimes, they end up finding each other. An elevator-breakdown might even help. But that’s not always a solution. Why don’t you ask Augustin, the caretaker? He can tell you the stories. And maybe he’ll tell you about Joséphine?"
Richard Jutras' 'Hit and Run' was hilarious. The story of Hélène and her baseball bat. Reminded me of "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/ Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned", as quoted in William Congreve's The Mourning Bride.
But the one movie that had us all sighing was Reines d’un jour by Pascal Magnin. Shot on the slopes of the gorgeous Swiss Alps, this short was all about the sensuality associated with graceful human movement. The best part was the idea of using breath, blowing in then blowing out, bringing people closer and then pushing them away (physically). It was too well done.
Just when I thought we were done for the day, I got a request from Jai - 'When is the screening ?'
Had been planning this for a long long time, and finally succeeded. We (Arun, Puyal, Shom, Dil, Cheeru, Jai, two special invitees - Pooja and Shakthi, Robbie, Maddy, Kaus, Zerish, Mhzhk, Shameel and myself) gathered at Pondy's place for a lights-off premiere of 'We'. Won the audience's approval. And then got kicked again. I don't know what it is with these guys, but there's no non-violent way to celebrate anything these days.
Finally headed to Romallee, next to Music Academy to celebrate two birthdays and friendship. The funny thing was that we first peeked into Mowbray's Inn on the same road. Neither Arun, nor Puyal nor I spoke a word as we entered. But the Concierge did. "Bar is closed.", he said. Now how did he know ? It was probably Puyal's long-hairdo and dope-eyed look. They'd probably serve him Toddy, even if he went to a free-food camp.
Romallee was fantabulous. To serve beer after 2330hrs. To treat us to amazing fish masala at 0100hrs. And to play Hindi tracks one after the other. Arun added another year on the 23rd. Puyal will, on the 27th. I, probably will, never grow up..