Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review of 'Cold War'

Beautiful, well paced drama (romantic drama?) set in post-war Poland, and then post-war Europe, and featuring a young woman singer and her sometime piano-playing teacher and lover. Lots of atmosphere, and shots that look like they have been meticulously composed by a visual artist.

It is a bit Cold War, though - it really emphasises the oppressiveness and bureaucratic hypocrisy of the East versus the freedom of the West. When our hero escapes and ends up in Paris the first scene shows him playing cool jazz in a band with black's unsaid that those black players would have been in Paris to escape segregation and racial violence back home. And also that this 'free' Paris was the capital of a country still practising violent militarised colonialism across the Mediterranean, or that in this very city hundreds of Algerian protesters were about to be murdered in a single day by a racist police force headed by a Vichy-era collaborator and torturer later convicted of crimes against humanity. When people 'chose' the West or the East they were choosing a lesser evil, not the good guys vs. the bad.

This doesn't detract from the film, of course. I was a bit put out by the ending, which didn't seem to me to fit with what had gone before, but I'll refrain from a spoiler.

Watched at Lansdown Film Club as part of Stroud Film Festival.

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