05 December 2009

Movie Review: Beyond Hatred

Now I feel like I have a pretty flexible disposition when it comes to watching movies, although, like I mentioned a few weeks ago, non-narrative Soviet-era films hit that limit. Insensitively, I have to say that this movie goes right into that category. Perhaps its because I'm an addict of the Law & Order television franchise -- especially the Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit -- that its hard for me to appreciate the sort of rambling, footage-intensive style of Olivier Meyrou. In fact, I had to look at the case to remind myself how the skinheads killed the gay guy.

I also didn't get the forgiveness part -- perhaps it was lost in translation. I don't know if I'm insensitive to crime. Maybe I am. There are many ways to (re)present the judicial system in a film, many. However Meyrou picked the worst aspect to focus on and that seemed to negate any power this film would have had to talk about hate-based violence. Meyrou focused on the very slow speed at which the judicial system work -- was following the judges back to their locker room really necessary? Sitting there through everything, I was beginning to wonder if justice was possible in the case. And, when the verdict was reached, I almost forgot we were in a trial.

If you are interested in watching the very slow movement of the modern French judicial system, this is the 90 minute film to watch. However, I'd personally rather spend two hours watching the monks of the Grande Chartreuse in their glorious silence, praying, meditating, midnight chanting, in the documentary: Die Gro├če Stille and you may have a deeper understanding of the futility of hatred and hate-based violence than you would watching this movie.

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