Friday, August 2, 2013

Four-Sentence MIFF Reviews #5-6: Ginger & Rosa, Alone

Ginger & Rosa (Sally Potter)

Born in adjacent beds, raised in adjacent houses, teenagers Ginger and Rosa have always done everything together.
But when Rosa falls for someone very close to Ginger, the girls' friendship is on rocky (and melodramatic) ground.
A decent first half with some excellently accurate characterisation of adolescent passion/angst/bad rhyming poetry.
Second half descends into hysteria and predictability, saved only by Ginger's lovely bumbly gay godfathers and their smart-mouthed friend Bella.

Alone (Wang Bing)

Three sisters aged 4, 6 and 10 live alone in a remote Chinese country village, with occasional food from their aunt next door and their father who visits from the city every few months.
A fascinating, if context-free, look at a lifestyle where basic day-to-day survival is hard, dirty, and relentlessly exhausting, and the brunt of it is borne by a 10 year old girl.
The documentary-makers follow the girls and their family in almost complete silence, only rarely conversing with their subjects:
"Where is your mother?"
"She left."
"Where did she go?"
"We don't know."*

*Yes, I'm counting a quoted conversation as one sentence here. No rules, man.

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