Monday, May 30, 2011

Shame (1968)

Today is Memorial Day. With that in mind I have decided to review one of the best antiwar films ever made SHAME.

Ingmar Bergman's meditation on war concerns a couple living an idyllic existence on a small island off the coast (of what country isn't specified). Raging off in the distance is a war they know only from news reports. As they go about their day the war comes to them and it soon becomes a struggle for survival as both sides seem not to care about them.

This is a bleak look at the human cost of war and those not readily engaged in battle but caught in the cross fire none the less. Its a movie ahead of its time as some 40 years since it was made the notion of armies at war where most of the casualties are the civilians have come of age. This is a dark disturbing film that is told from the average person's point of view with the complete sense of hopeless and confusion best expressed in the thought that kept running through my head, "what do I do now?".

As an intellectual exercise the film is top notch, this is a film that will make you think. As an emotional film it is touching but never fully moving. I was never moved emotionally even as the horror of the situation made my brain do flip flops. (I should state that I admire Bergman intellectually for the ideas that he brings to the table, however I have never been moved by his films. I am not a "fan". I always sided with Fellini in the old film class argument as to who was better since he had more emotion to his films).

Reservations aside this is required viewing especially since we live in a world were war, for most of us, is just a thing on a TV screen.

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