I love foreign movies. Not all of them are great but they always seem to make me think. (I can’t say that for ninety percent of Hollywood movies.) In this blog I will periodically highlight a couple of foreign films that I feel worthy of notice. Here goes.
A beautiful, bittersweet film. Shower is about family, community and modernity encroaching on tradition.
Da Ming is the oldest son of a bath house owner, who has left the mundane life of his family’s small town for a successful career in the big city. He has not kept in touch with his family and it is apparent that he has conflicted feelings about them and his hometown. He returns home when he thinks his father has died. The problem is Da Ming’s father is alive and well and hard at work at his bathhouse. He has been cleverly tricked by his handicapped brother Erming. Da Ming decides to stay a few days and sees the important role his father plays in the community and the loving relationship he has with his brother. In the short time Da Ming spends with his family he realizes that it is he who is living an empty life and is envious of the full one that his father and brother enjoy. Unfortunately everything about the life they’ve known is about to end and Da Ming must take stock of his family’s future
13 Tzameti (French)
A dark, psychological film in eerie black and white about an impoverished young man. Sebastian is struggling to support his immigrant family. While doing a job, fixing a roof, he overhears a conversation about a letter which promises to be a lucrative job offer for his employer. His employer is a drug addict who overdoses and dies. The letter with the lucrative job offer literally falls into Sebastian’s lap. Sensing the opportunity of a lifetime, he follows the series of veiled instructions contained in the letter. He assumes the dead mans identity and unknowingly dodges a police sting operation. Sebastian has no idea what he is getting himself involved in. Let’s just say his new career will have great earning potential but the health benefits, not so good.