Monday, May 21, 2007

Crazy Driver, Crazy Dancer

My home Ken Loach season continued this week with Carla's Song. Not his best, I don't think, but worthy enough.

I was struck, however, by the clear denunciation of the COntra's tactic of blowing up schools and hospitals. It sounded familiar.

Like the Taleban, maybe? Or the Iraqi insurgency? Obviously, maybe they learned from the same fount of knowledge, then again, maybe it's common sense in a strategy of mayhem. Either way, I think as a film it is good for challenging simplistic notions of "Victory to the Resistance" etc. we hear from the likes of Loony.

The commentary was telling. Apparently the scene's in the hospital (after a supposed bus bombing) featured real survivors of the contra war, including amputees, reliving their trauma so that it would be recorded. Nicaragua only has a populatuion of a few million, I wonder how many scarred and wounded people there are after the war in iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, this is in no sense a note of supporting the West's actions in these countries, but drawing attention to a film that problematises easy support for resistance, and questions what we can and should think/do?

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Blogger Darren said...

Leave it out, Bill, 'Carla's Song' is one of the cheesiest films I've ever seen.

The first half, set in Glasgow, is OK enough, but once Robert Carlyle's character gets to Nicaragua it turns into pure mawkish piss-poor political melodrama.

Emperor Loach didn't have any clothes on when he made that film.


4:04 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I said it wasn't opne of his best, some points are very creaky (but I think that's the script rather than the actual acting/direction). I liked it's attempt to try and tell a low key story about a human catastrophe, but think it could have been done better. I think the attempt to (a) Have a British/European angle and (b) avoid a partisan protagonist made it very difficult ot tell the story without a crowbar.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'm puzzled by your suggestion than Loach deserves subtlety credits for problematising a resistance movement in this film - the Contras were resisting the Sandinistas, making them a bad and evil resistance movement. (Plus they actually were a bad and evil resistance movement, which doesn't help.)

11:54 PM  
Blogger Bill said...


the problem is its easy to oppose atrocities of a geurilla movement attacking the government you support - but when they are attackign a government you oppose? Do the same pieties and demands for human rights obtain?

8:16 AM  

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