Festivals

Day 2 at DIFF

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Grzeli_nateli_dgeebi_InBloomAfter all of the hype of the opening night gala, I decided to start day two by keeping it low key and seeing a film that is a little more under the radar. So after getting my ticket, and seeing all the cuteness of kid’s dressed up for the red carpet for Disney’s Frozen screening, I popped over to Mall of the Emirates for the showing of In Bloom.

A new film from Georgia, In Bloom follows two young teenage girls in a coming of age story set during Georgia’s civil war. I’m happy I didn’t base my decision to see the film from the trailer. It doesn’t even come close to representing the film’s story or essence. As with many coming of age film’s, much of the screen time in In Bloom is spent displaying the daily lives of Natia and Eka. They are stubborn and powerful little forces of youth but are also searching for love and meaning in their unstable lives. When Natia is given a gun to protect herself while he is gone to Moscow, the girls’ try and use it to help them through situations out of their control.

There isn’t an expected climax or resolution to In Bloom but that is what makes it so authentic. The cinematography adds to the realism, giving a peek over the shoulder view of the events, and the color work helps to evoke the feelings of desperation, monotony, and poverty of the time period. Along with the talented performances by the two young leads, Lika Babluani (Eka) and Mariam Bokeria (Natia), In Bloom is a memorable film that has put Georgian cinema on the map (for me at least).

After the screening of In Bloom, I caught the gala screening of August:Osage County, a new dark family comedy starring an ensemble cast of  actors including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Chris Cooper.

This film absolutely blew me away. I can’t remember the last time I saw a film with such a good script, or one with such high calibre performances. It will not be a surprise when the Oscar’s announce the nominees, a number of actors from the film get recognized. Meryl Streep in particular is so fierce and unforgiving as Violet, the matriarch of the Weston family, it is astonishing the rest of the cast could keep up. Yet, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson support her flawlessly as Violet’s three daughters, while the rest of the cast, down to the smallest parts, are equally as meaningful.

The guilt, shame, and blame of the Weston family past comes through in a hysterically sad way, making it a film where you have to repeatedly choose to laugh or cry (which as we all know, is a lot like life).

So with these heavy thoughts ending day 2 of DIFF, I’m looking forward to what’s in store for the rest of the week. By Sara Castillo. 

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