Friday, January 17, 2014

A few words on Ana Arabia (2013) New York Jewish Film Festival 2014

A single take film follows a journalist as she talks to the family and friends of a Holocaust survivor who married a Muslim in Israel. As the people talk we get a sense of  the Arab Israeli conflict on a personal level.

I'm mixed on this film.

Had this film been a stage play this would have been a kickass theatrical experience. On stage the talky nature of the tale would work to it's advantage. Sadly on film are much too static. While the camera moves around a group of buildings to put us in different locations, each time people start to talk the camera stops moving and we are essentially watching people speak while in a tableau.  It might have worked if there was a rhyme or reason to the order of the conversations,but there doesn't seem to be one. There doesn't seem to be a reason for the journalist to keep going back and forth to the various  people. Two people offer to make her tea, she says yes but then walks off to talk to someone else.

The big selling point of the film is single take of the film. Why is the single take so important? If no one had pointed it out (The film itself even mentions that it was done in one take) I never would have known or cared. But by making a big deal about the one take I kept waiting for the reason for it. There had to be a reason to do it in one take right? Apparently not.

Personally I could have missed this film.

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