May 1, 2010
I'm on a documentary streak. I can't resist, below are the two I watched recently.
Afghan Star was an UK production, I really wonder why Americans didn't make this film, o right, Hollywood marketing people, right right, same people that hate featuring minorities in their films.
Anyways, the film follows 4 characters in war torn Afghanistan who participated in the first ever "American Idol" style singing competition. While the topic in its self to me was already very intriguing, I did not anticipate how much I related to the film. There was a moment in the film where it showed what the country was prior to the Soviet invasion, it was eerily reminiscent of China before the June 4th demonstration crack down. You see girls on the street with western clothes, Farrah Fawcett hair, Rock&Roll, Disco, Sneakers, and jeans. Then, seconds later, flash back ends, back to Afghanistan, 2009.
In that film, I saw a different me, what I could've been. Had China taken the wrong turn, what would be of my present. It was a moment of pause for the Chinese, a moment of choice for the communist government. I think we as a society, chose wisely... Thank God.
Afghan Star, thus, was bitter sweet, from the film I saw people with similar faces we had in 1989, doubt, anger, unwillingness to accept progress, but then, people do realize it's something unavoidable, something that everyone desires for, to sing, to be able to choose in fairness, to dream for the better.
Exit through the gift shop is an amazing documentary on street art movement of this decade. Contrary to what most people have perceived about the film, it's not JUST about Banksy, it's actually about some of the most important artisits in the street art scene, the film carries Space Invader, Shepard Fairey, along with other famous faces like PinkMonster. The genius of the film, the genius of Banksy really, is how irreverent the film turned out to be. Without ruining the film here, I will say this, Banksy had a stock of street art footage so complete it covered an entire span of 6 years from street art being street art, to street art being gallery art. He could well made a documentary just about street art, and yet, he worked the tapes into something else entirely. That is why I think this film will win best documentary this year.