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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Critics' Comments & An Idea

Comments about the Critics' Favorite Films

I can’t say I have a favorite film this year since so many of them were truly enjoyable and different from each another. This week was a difficult week for me since I lost two family members, one to cancer and the other to Perkins disease, neither of them was very old. After watching the Israeli film called Shrouds by Shalom Hager, I released that it had the most impact on me. Nachum (Kais Nashef) is a 31-year-old orthodox Jew who is married and his wife is pregnant. He decides to take on a job as a caretaker and learns the rituals and spiritual aspects of burying the dead. We learn in this story that he has recently lost a baby daughter and needs to deal with this lost before the new baby arrives. It isn’t easy and he goes through several stages of seeking and understanding until he finds how to cope with the loss. The film shows how he achieves this, which is by simply honoring the dead as he lays them to rest. He sees that the end of life can be as simple as the beginning of life. In my situation, it certainly brought me comfort. ()

I think this year’s Filmfest offered a lot of good films.
1) I was very impressed with the presentation of Juan. Who would have thought that an opera can be so much fun!
2) Geliebtes Leben – a realistic view of the life in a small community in South Africa, highlighting the life of “AIDS orphans”, giving hope and stressing the positive effect of education.
3) Mao’s Last Dancer – a biography of a man’s determination and setting priorities in his life. It also gives a background on his family’s life in Mao’s China, political implications and changes during his lifetime. ()

My personal favorite was There Once was an Island. ()

My all-time festival favorite was The Good Heart because of the excellent acting, the message, the surprise ending, and the snappy one-liners. ()

Favorite film: Juan (so innovative and clever) ()

Favorite films: Adrift and The First Beautiful Thing. Least favorite film: Foreign Parts ()

Favorite film: Simple Simon and worst ending in a film: Pulsar ()

How about the Filmfest Idea?

Vienna’s Filmfest this summer was held in part in the open air. Chairs were set out in the large square in front of the town hall, ready for an evening performance. Is this an idea which Hamburg could adopt? Could chairs be set out in front of the Rathaus with public screenings of a movie shown each night? If Vienna can find sponsors to support this idea then perhaps Hamburg can too. Yes, the weather is unpredictable in autumn but it’s always unpredictable, and certainly was in Vienna this August, but surely this shouldn’t stop us. ()

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