Festivals

Day 5 & 6 at DIFF

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

particle fever

Unfortunately I was only able to see one film each day for Day 5 and 6 of DIFF. However I’m thankful both films were really enjoying and exciting to watch. They offered me a little break from the heaviness of Day 4.

Although I really wanted to take part in the honoring of Nelson Mandela’s life by attending the gala screening of Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom, the film was completely booked. So I got the chance to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty instead.

The new film by Ben Stiller has definitely been the funnest film of the festival. It follows Walter Mitty (Stiller) as he goes from being a daydreaming photo negative manager at Life magazine, to risking everything to go on the adventure of his life tracking down an important lost negative. Through Walter’s humorous and earnest escapades, perfectly timed to a soundtrack that includes Arcade Fire, Of Monsters and Men, and Jose Gonzalez, the film’s inspiring life lesson of living in the moment shines through in a meaningful and memorable way. It is definitely one of those films you can return to when you need a playful reminder of what is important in life.

Along the bigger picture of life lies the film I saw on Day 6. Particle Fever is a documentary that follows the particle physicists involved with discovering the Higgs particle, a particle that is part of the building blocks of our universe. The physicists are all very engaging subjects and part of what makes the film so fascinating. I had the pleasure of sitting for an open Q&A after the film with director Mark Levinson, in which he talked more about CERN and his directorial choices while making the film. Mark got his PhD in physics before going into filmmaking so his knowledge of the subject, along with his narrative skill, makes Particle Fever a surprisingly excellent documentary.

After screening the film for CERN in Switzerland on Tuesday night, it was an honor to have Mark in Dubai for DIFF on Wednesday. It goes to show how DIFF, now in its 10th year, is continuing to establish itself as one of the highly recognized film festivals of the world. By Sara Castillo.

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