Friday, January 09, 2009

Only the Brave

This 1994 medium length (runtime is 59 min) film by acclaimed (has won a few awards mainly in Australia ) Australian director/writer of Greek descent, Ana Kokkinos, is today a film that surely many will not enjoy at least, as much as when it was first released in the early ‘90s. It has a story that could be interesting as a general coming of age story, as well as a lesbian coming of age story; but the way it was written and filmed leaves too much character development to your imagination and because of the awful visuals and performing style, you simply do not get interested in filling the gaps. Then the end product looks and feels totally fragmented.

There was a moment when I was asking myself: What is this? What is the real issue of this movie? The mother leaving her? The lack of future for teens like these? … and some similar questions. But none of the questions was really related to the character being lesbian, as I believe that Alex discovering or being lesbian has very little to do with this story.

Alright Alex could be in love with Vicki and she definitively tries something with her teacher, but if you make both characters male, the story will work exactly the same; I believe that the story is more about growing up and trying to be sensible when all around you including your best friend and schoolmates, are rebellious and sort of violent probably because dysfunctional families and clearly because sexual and any other kind of abuse.

Perhaps nowadays we are more used to see lesbian themed movies with powerful, strong and disturbing stories that no matter if they have a small -or not- budget are successful in conveying whatever message they want to convey; so, with our today eyes, this film becomes quite not pleasant to watch very quickly.

The story is basic, Alex mother left her and her best friend and love interest Vicki likes to set fires and wants them to leave and go to Sydney. Everything you’ll see in this movie is violent -in various degrees- even Alex own reactions to trying to be sensible. Vicki is like she is because his policeman father abuses her and we learn it thanks to a very violent scene because the way her father is penetrating her. As a movie the production values are well below average.

I watched until the end but it was hard and disgusting. So, definitively I do not recommend this movie and if you want to watch it do it at your own risk.

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