Saturday, October 25, 2008

Death In Love

Having recently returned from the Austin Film Festival, I'm not only quite tired (we're also in a crunch time at work), but also thinking about the interesting films and people I encountered there.

If it happens to show up at a festival, arthouse theater, or other venue near you, you should check out writer/director Boaz Yakin's Death In Love. An incredibly challenging film, Death In Love is far from the escapist entertainment so popular in Hollywood these days. The story "depicts the effects of a Jewish woman's love affair with the doctor in charge of human experiments in a Nazi concentration camp on the lives of her sons many years later." It is, at its core, a study of certain forms of evil, power dynamics in relationships, and despair. In the theatrical sense of the term, this film is a tragedy. The protagonist is not lovable. There are no hijinks, no shoot-outs, and no magical redemptions. You won't get a satisfying, typically American happy ending out of this film. But even if you wind up not liking the film like I do, its compelling intensity will grab hold of you and keep you thinking about it for days on end. Given a seemingly endless stream of saccharine cinema down at the multiplex, being confronted with difficult philosophical questions is alone reason enough to give this film a look.

I'm working on arranging a showing and Director's presentation here at work, but if you're not here, take whatever other opportunity you get to check it out.