Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Everything's political they say. When you tell a story, you have overt politics in the foreground or maybe just the assumption of the way society should be so far in the background you wouldn't even know it was there.
Academic Edward Said stated that one of the most political writers of the 19th century was Jane Austen (of all people) just for that reason.

Entranced Earth

"To a degree, the failure of  Earth Entranced results from its unwillingness to accept the fictional logic of its melodramatic plot."-Roger Greenspun, New York Times, May 15, 1970

"Attacked with equal vitriol by both the Left and the Right, the film was neglected in favor of Rocha's rural epics. Yet seen today it seems not only Rocha's masterpiece, but also that of the new Latin American Cinema."-Richard Pena, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

No escaping the politics of Entranced Earth and there are plenty of divergent opinions on it. Essentially, the plot involves a poet named Paulo, who at different times backs a Right Wing dictator and a Left Wing ideologue, both of whom eventually let Paulo down. Paulo then becomes a revolutionary. The plot is confusing much of the time. I don't know whether to give the film credit here for realism or be critical of it for making me scratch my head. It did make me think of how politics is usually convoluted...and not just in third world countries. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The Official Story

"Beside The Official Story, most of the political movies of recent years seem tub thumbers and point pounders. Luis Puenzo's film is unwaveringly committed to human rights, yet it imposes no ideology or doctrine."-Walter Goodman, November 8, 1985, New York Times

The political situation is really magnified in human terms in The Official Story. Alicia is an Argentine teacher with a husband and an adopted daughter whom she loves dearly. Alicia is content in her life, but can't turn away when she learns some of the things that have been going on in her country over the last few years, including the circumstances in which she adopted her daughter. A powerful film that should challenge some of your beliefs no matter where you fall on the ideological spectrum.

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