Wednesday, November 27, 2019

People of the Wasteland (2019)

People of the Wasteland, Official Trailer, Jouzour Film Production UG & Cinema Group Production, directed by Heba Khaled from Talal Derki on Vimeo.
How you react to People of the Wasteland is going to rest entirely with how you react to the was way the film is shot- namely as a first person trek through the wilds of Syria. The wide lens film is entirely from the POV of fighters who travels across the Syrian landscape. If you ever wanted to know what it was like in a war zone this film will give you a good idea.

To be honest the first person perspective was a mixed blessing for me. While the POV gave me a strong sense of being in the places we see, there were times when it also came me a headache with the jittery image messing with my head. I occasionally looked away simply because the imagery bothered me. While I completely understand why the film looks as it does, I also understand that has problems. While I think the film is very good I think this would have been better as a VR film where it would have been even more environmental.

While it probably isn’t fair to discuss the look of the film before the film itself, it is unavoidable since with this film the look, the perspective is what sets the film apart.

As a film divorced of the look, People of the Wasteland is quite good. Its  "you are there" and in your face look at what it takes to travel in a war torn country this film can’t be beat. I say this because while what we see is edited, there is less manipulation of the footage than might be in a typical documentary. What  we see is  happening before us and not assembled from various shots. Wee see the good and the bad and we are better for it.

Worth a look.

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