Sacrifice

Sacrifice

A young girl from the city is sent out to work in a village of Dai people in China's cultural revolution. Here she learns to enjoy being young and gains a new outlook on life.

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return. . You can read more in Google, Youtube, Wiki

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mark d (br) wrote: Last week in this column, I reviewed Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin, a bleakly violent state-of-the-nation portrait of modern China that earned Jia a best screenplay award at the 2013 Cannes film festival. At the same awards ceremony, the prize for best director went to Amat Escalante for his blacker-still account of life in Mexico, which earned instant notoriety for its deadpan depiction of torture, kidnapping and hellish corruption.With its quasi-documentary air of "realism", exhausted palette, and trademark extended shots (cinematographer Lorenzo Hagerman taking full advantage of the flexibility of digital shooting), Heli paints a harrowing and often unbearably grim picture of a lawless bandit country, the indignities of which are made all the more powerful by Escalante's evident compassion for the struggling characters at the sharp end of all this escalating chaos.Opening with an image of mortifyingly mundane violence (a body hung from a bridge) to which the film will later loop back, Heli centres on the titular young man, played with winning ease by Armando Espitia, who lives with his wife, baby, father and young sister in a ramshackle home in the provinces. Heli and his father both work at the vast car plant around which their home town appears to have sprung up, while 12-year-old Estela (Andrea Vergara) divides her time between attending school and secretly meeting 17-year-old cadet Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios) with whom she plans to run away.When Beto stashes two bags of cocaine in the water tank of Estela's home, the protective Heli is outraged and disposes of the drugs, thereby provoking a descent into a violent underworld from which few return intact.Drawing upon real-life accounts of everyday atrocities, Escalante (director of the similarly controversial Sangre and Los Bastardos) and co-writer Gabriel Reyes conspire to drag Heli and his family through an ordeal that is apparently far from uncommon. Told that they will "get to know God in the land of the damned", the central characters find themselves at the mercy of affectless thugs whose relationship with the law is deliberately obtuse. Are the armed police who arrive at Heli's home gangsters in disguise, crooks dressed as cops? Are they rogue officials, in league with the drug lords? Or are they in fact bona fide law enforcement officials, randomly terrorising the community whom they are supposed to protect?An early sequence of a huge stash of marijuana, cocaine and pirated DVDs (ha!) being burned by uniformed officials to generate public confidence rings with hollow laughter, a farcical fiery gesture amid a wasteland of ever-expanding tragedy and corruption.What gives Heli its edge is the stark juxtaposition of almost surreal horror and tangible domesticity, a combination that lies at the dark heart of Escalante's vision. Scenes of Heli's home-life are convincingly etched, with non-professional performers (only the actor playing his father has previous screen experience) lending an air of relaxed naturalism.Later, this domesticity will become the film's most disturbing element, as home-grown torture is enacted in the presence of children, their attention divided between the flickering images on the TV screen and the real-life beating of a man in whose violation and humiliation they are invited/forced to participate. While the genital mutilation of one of the characters has become Heli's notorious talking point, the digital effects involved in this shot are, if anything, a distraction from the greater horror of a world in which childhood itself appears to have been incinerated.This is of central concern to Escalante, whose narrative is driven (albeit circuitously) by the relationship between a soldier who is more boy than man and a young girl whose childish dreams of marriage seem destined to be overshadowed by premature motherhood. In this God-fearing land, teenage pregnancy is rife and abortion outlawed, creating a world in which the divide between parents and children is all but indistinguishable. Yet there is none of the leering quality of Larry Clark in Escalante's portrayal of children old before their age; a sequence in which Beto proves his strength to Estela by lifting her like a dumbbell is arresting and affecting more for its pathos than for any creepy shock value.Similarly, the poster shot of a bare-chested Heli facing an armoured vehicle that looms larger than his house has become emblematic of the film's underlying air of defiance, of people in impossible circumstances enduring the unendurable.Ultimately, it is this resilience that gives Heli its heart, and perhaps even lends this occasionally intolerable picture a hint of something approaching redemption. Writing and thinking about the film now, I find that I like it more than I did while watching it, an experience that was by turns uncomfortable, alarming and deeply depressing.And while I remain uneasy about individual elements that seem more designed to startle than to reveal, it is the fortitude of the core characters that lingers in the mind. Mexico as a country may not come out of Escalante's film well, but there is a dignity in Heli and his fractured family that outlasts the torments of their catastrophic environment.

Joni K (kr) wrote: Easy going, easily approachable, simple document that doesn't preach too much - but might wake you up - about plastic trash.

Arturo S (br) wrote: Siendo un admirador del cine surreal y habiendo disfrutado del trabajo del director checo Jan Svankmajer no esperaba algo realmente diferente al ver Sileni, pelcula checa del 2005 en la que Svankmajer homenajea tanto a Edgar Allan Poe como al Marqus de Sade; sobra decir que mi prejuicio era un gran error.Jean Barlot es un hombre solitario y atormentado por un miedo obsesivo a perder la razn que viaja al campo debido a la muerte de su madre, una enferma mental. El joven se hospeda en una posada, donde durante la noche tiene el sueo recurrente en el que es amarrado con una camisa de fuerza; Berlot, desesperado, destruye su cuarto en la posada ante la mirada atnita del posadero y de los dems inquilinos.Por la maana un misterioso Marqus paga los daos ocasionados a la habitacin y por una extraa sucesin de acontecimientos termina hospedndolo en su casa, donde Berlot atestiguar la ms blasfema de las misas negras (escena realmente sorprendente, que lleva el surrealismo al lmite con lo grotesco) asustado por el descubrimiento; Berlot cuestiona a su anfitrin por sus herejas, el marqus responde entonces con un discurso sumamente interesante que resume las bases del nihilismo visto como una crtica extrema a la religin; tras la cual el noble aparentemente muere asfixiado, por lo que tanto Berlot como el sirviente mudo del Marqus sepultan al difunto en su cripta familiar y montan guardia en el cementerio, solo para ver al Marqus vivo en la maana.Berlot se entera entonces del tratamiento psiquitrico del Marqus, y tras sufrir otro ataque de histeria, el invitado accede a conocer al psiquiatra amigo de su anfitrin en su manicomio.La escena del manicomio del Dr. Murlloppe es uno de los cuadros ms absurdos jams filmados, con las gallinas como smbolo principal de una locura expresada tanto por los pacientes como por el excntrico director.Es en ese ambiente bizarro, el manicomio gobernado por los locos, que Berlot se enamora de una joven enfermera llamada Charlotte (que vi por primera vez en la ceremonia satnica del marqus), Charlotte le dice que el manicomio actual es consecuencia de un motn por parte de los pacientes y que el verdadero director del hospital y sus empleados estn encerrados en el stano desde hace un ao.Es entonces que Charlotte consigue sacar del hospital a Murlloppe y al Marqus, tiempo que Berlot utiliza para liberar a los doctores cautivos, los cuales terminana a golpes con la libertad de los pacientes y toman control del hospital capturando a los hombres resonsables de la locura (Murlloppe y el Marqus).Berlot poco a poco descubre que los mtodos del Dr. Coulmiere, el nuevo y cristiano director del manicomio, consisten en castigo fsico aplicado progresivamente para "sanar" las enfermedades mentales, descubre tambin que su enamorada y el director son fanticos de las parafilias, y que los cuerdos que lo salvaron de los locos estn igual de locos.La conclusin de la pelcula es atormentadora; no importa nada, ni la ideologa, ni la libertad, ni la razn todo nos lleva a la misma locura y tal vez el nico escape es la total insania.Una pelcula visualmente grotesca y que permanece fiel al estilo grfico de Svankmajer, es densa y el absurdo es un recurso tentador pero Svankmajer logra llevar el mensaje al espectador perfectamente sin abusar de los elementos surreales, no alcanza ni visualmente ni en simbolismo a Neco z Alenky pero logra llevar la reflexin en una historia bien narrada sin perder con ello su estilo caracterstico.A pesar de ser cansada y por momentos lenta, Sileni es una pelcula satisfactoria en todos los sentidos aunque, como cualquier cosa inspirada por Sade, no es apta para muchas personas.*****

Ethan P (es) wrote: Changing Lanes was a gripping and competent drama, but the ending was too easy after so much I'll will between them and it has few moments that set it apart from other films in its genre.

Eric O (ru) wrote: finally, something a little more relatable in the kurosawa anthology. that said, still about average. also, still too long (kurosawa's trademark)

Michael T (ag) wrote: Classic Japanese melodrama, well-acted and directed.