It's the annual Helsinki International Film Festival again, and I've seen three movies so far. Giovanni's Island (Jobanni no shima)
. It's a Japanese animation about two Japanese boys from the Kuril islands when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. It was good, quite captivating. It carefully refuses to demonize the Soviets, even if a lot of bad things happen. The children's imaginary story world creates a nice counter balance to the heavy stuff in the movie, so it's not as depressing as say, The Grave of the Fireflies
. 9/10.Love at First Fight (Les Combattants)
. A French movie that was a love story between a tough, no-nonsense girl and a directionless boy. They decide to go to army training camp. I really liked the premise, and it was a different take on the usual boy-meets-girl. It kept my attention all the way through; however, I feel that in the end the makers didn't know what exactly to say with the movie. I also felt that the young woman character was a bit inconsistent. 6.5/10.The Fake (Saibi)
. A Korean adults' animation movie. I'll just copy-paste what I said on FB: It was really good, I recommend. Some sources describe it as being critical of organised religion, but I don't think that was the theme at all. In fact, if you asked me to boil down the lesson of the movie, it'd be: "It doesn't help to be a skeptic if you're also a misogynist.
" The anti-hero of the movie is a very unlikable character, which is a brilliant touch. Also, the religion featured in the movie is more of a cult than mere "organised religion". The movie features people who are "bad with religion" and "bad without religion", and then good people who kind of get crushed between both kinds of bad people. Religion, in the end, plays little part in what happens to them. However, one could say the movie is critical of bullies, cults, conmen and gullibility. 10/10.
About The Fake, I'd also say that it was scary
how domestic abuse was depicted in the movie. It was completely nobody else's business, and nobody ever thought that the cops might be called because of it, or that non-male family members might have some kind of basic human right not to be physically abused.
Tonight I'll hopefully be seeing a Hungarian movie.