Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another Planet (Másik Bolygó) (World Film Festival, Montréal)

Ferenc Moldoványi's documentary Another Planet is a jolting, quotidian examination of the harsh realities facing child labourers in Cambodia, Congo and Ecuador. One sells cigarettes in the streets at night, others work in scrap yards with dangerous machinery, some fight in wars, pick through garbage all day, or prostitute themselves to make ends meet. If you're searching for a film which provides living, breathing representatives of the humanistic articles occasionally featured in magazines such as National Geographic, representatives who stoically endure spiritual, cultural, familial, and social helplessness with the patience of Job and the resignation of Hephaestus, Another Planet is mandatory viewing, a stunning, cinematic triumph, whose existence is the product of Moldoványi's unwavering commitment. The footage is exceptional and as impressive as Herzog's best work in terms of seemingly insurmountable production obstacles overcome. Flames surround these children constantly and they can't stop in order to spot their source nor seek political means which would see them doused. My favourite scene shows a shoe shine boy gently holding a pigeon, taking a break, resting.

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