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Engaged cinema is the great protagonist of the weekend in cinemas: among the most anticipated titles of the week is “Green Border”, a new film by Agnieszka Holland and one of the most significant visions of recent times in terms of the themes proposed.
The title refers to the so-called “green border” between Belarus and Poland, where migrants from the Middle East and Africa struggle to reach the European Union, but find themselves trapped in a vortex of horrors that is impossible to predict.
In this hidden war, the lives of a Syrian family, a young border guard and a recently trained activist are intertwined. Presented at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, where it obtained the Special Jury Prize, “Green Border” is a film so rich in characters that it can be considered a choral work around such a delicate place for international political scenarios. In addition to this last aspect, however, Agnieszka Holland focuses in particular on human beings, on the suffering they suffer in the hope of improving their lives, effectively managing to make us empathize with many of the figures on stage. The Polish director’s intent is above all to to open our eyes to discover realities that are not easily described and highlighted: the objective was successful, also thanks to the ability to make the events told into something universal with a very strong connection to current events that we should all know.
The ability to make people think
“Green Border” is a vision of great intensity, a film that does not spare very crude moments to represent the oppression suffered by those who think they have achieved their dream and who instead end up in a nightmare similar to the one they were escaping from. Some of these passages are at the limit of a blackmail cinema that wants to force the hand in involving the spectator at all costs, but the ideas proposed and the story of the machinations that take place along that border are of great interest and capable of deeply shaking.
The Polish author, known for films such as “Europa Europa” and “The Secret Garden”, in this case not only directed a busy product, which also gave rise to numerous controversies in her homeland: “Green Border” is above all an angry film , the victim of some fluctuating moments during the approximately two and a half hour duration, but capable of making us reflect and remain impressed after viewing. You can feel all the commitment with which the director, born in 1948, directed it and her desire to hitting the viewer from the first to the last minute: a successful objective, also thanks to a simply chilling black and white photography and the work of a cast undoubtedly equal to the rest of the operation.
The color purple
An example of committed cinema is also “The Color Purple” by Blitz Bazawule, another of the most anticipated titles of the weekend in theaters. It is the film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, in turn inspired by the famous novel by Alice Walker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1983: it is the second film adaptation of the novel after the 1985 film by Steven Spielberg, who returned as producer of Bazawule’s film together with Oprah Winfrey, protagonist of the film from almost forty years ago. Set at the beginning of Twentieth century in the southern United States, the film tells the story of a group of African-American women, who throughout their lives face really difficult moments and fight various struggles. First of all there is Celie, who has suffered abuse from a very young age, first due to her violent and incestuous father, and then due to an alcoholic and troublesome husband, who she was forced to marry. It is both a coming-of-age story and a journey of emancipation that this film stages, well acted and discreetly crafted, but which lacks great flashes to really make an impression on the minds of the spectators.