Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Monday, May 30, 2011

ABC Africa - 2001 - Dir. Kiarostami

I've only seen one other Kiarostami film previous to this, it was not a doc so they don't exactly compare. It feels a little funny to critique the documentary about children dying of AIDS but I thought this could have been a little better! I guess, really my primary issue is that it looks like Kiarotstami just edited together a mildly organized vacation. The reason it looks that way is because that's what it is (sorta, he went location scouting and ended up just using that footage). This does two things, one bad, one good. On the bad, there's a kind of haphazard feel to many portions of the movie. It just FEELS like something that wasn't intended to be a movie. On the flip side, however, it also seems to convey a kind of atmosphere that perhaps a planned doc might lose. There's a spontaneity about it as if we're wandering side by side with Kiarostami. Even the portion that takes place in complete darkness contributes to this flow. He doesn't interrupt it with voice overs or heavy handedness, letting his footage speak for itself. The film is especially adept at capturing moments when it's at its best. However, I am of two minds because when occasionally it fell into moments of Kiarostami home videos, I felt like it was doing injustice to a topic that deserves far more respect.
Lucky kid... I wish I had a hoop...

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