Friday, 5 February 2010

Children take the lead

The two films I watched yesterday were both told through the eyes of children. First was Treeless Mountain a Korean film which charts the demise of two little girl's (Bin and Yin) worlds as there mother abandons them with there alcoholic aunt as sh goes in search of the girls father. Eventually they wind up on a farm with there grandparents slightly damaged by there experiences, yet with some naivety intact. The film is very subtle in its exploration, visually rich shots of broken cities, countryside and tight angles of expression. Director So Yong Kim talks about the film.

Treeless Mountain is inspired by events from my early childhood in Pusan, Korea. My mother divorced our father and left us with our grandparents on a rice farm. She immigrated to America in order to find a better life for herself and to build a future for her children. At the time of these events we were too young to understand and our mother did not tell us what was happening. I began writing the film to search for certain lost memories from this period of my life and also as a letter to my mother.

(A young So Youg Kim with sister).

The second revelation came from The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, a refreshing take on a rather overplayed subject matter, which as always created a attention due to the accuracies or rather inaccuracies of story. Fortunately I was in the dark as to how the plot panned out, don't read the synopsis before watching it really will spoil your enjoyment, although enjoyment seems an inappropriate word, I shall stop there.

It has thriller qualities and presents the innocent view of an 8 year old boy called Bruno played by Asa Butterfield who is also the son of a Nazi General. He encounters another boy called Shmuel played by Jack Scanlon. The film is taken from a book written by Irish author John Boyne, the film is written and directed by Mark Herman, having never read the book I am unable to comment of the translation, reading an interview with David Thewlis (of Harry Potter fame) who plays Bruno's warped father the film is told from a slightly older perspective (third voice) and centers around the family dynamic.