VIFF 2011 Reviews: Give Up Tomorrow; Bonsai; VIFF Trailers Reel.


Give Up Tomorrow. UK/USA, 95 min.

This story of Paco Larrañaga, unjustly convicted of the rape and murder of two girls, will make you despair of the Philippine justice system. Although he has hard evidence supported by reliable witnesses that he was 300 miles away on the day of the murders, Paco and seven others are banged up for years. The villain in this piece is the girls’ mother whose access to political power (and powerful criminal organizations) trumps the evidence.
Bonsai. Argentina/Chile/France, 92 min.

Love is like reading Proust or cultivating a bonsai tree: it takes time and patience. And sometimes, memories of things past are painful.

VIFF Trailers: the 30th Anniversary Reel. Canada, 75 min.

Strictly for VIFF veterans. If you have to ask what a VIFF trailer is, this film will leave you cold. But if you remember the floating child, the made-in-Hollywood machine gun, the jealous husband who can read the subtitles or the naive young woman trapped in her first foreign film, this is for you. Also included is the “Muslim woman police interrogation”, a riff on Sharon Stone’s seductive act in Basic Instinct. In it, a niqab-clad woman (only her eyes are visible), gets police interrogators in a lather by recrossing her completely concealed legs. This trailer was pulled after one day in response to complaints. Trailers from the late 80s to 2009.

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About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.
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