Thursday, March 22, 2007

Vodka Lemon

This Armenian film is a little gem that takes a potentially grim subject –poverty- and mines it for maximum humor and insight. It is a movie that will give you a feel-good feeling when it’s over.

Directed by Hiner Saleem tells the story of a remote, isolated village in post-Soviet Armenia where Hamo a Kurdish widower with a pitiful pension and three worthless sons meets lovely Nina a widower too. Both are penniless. Still, everything is joyful around their lives.

Winner of the San Marco Prize at the 2003 Venice Film Festival, as well as other prizes in other festivals, it’s a movie that has been compared to early Fellini’s work, and even if I think that is far from it, still is a very interesting film.

The movie is in Armenian, Kurdish, Russian and French, but the dvd comes with English subtitles.

In an interview, Saleem’s quotes his grandfather favorite statement about Kurdish misfortunes and I share it with you readers as I find it very insightful: “Our past is sad, our present is catastrophic, but fortunately we have no future”. This statement is a humorous response to a tragic situation and as Saleem’s says: “If they do not have a little humor, if they do not manage to put things in perspective, they cannot survive”. He is speaking about the Kurds, but I believe this applies to everything and everyone.

Not for all audiences as is like a French movie, no beginning nor end and uses many metaphors to represent something or nothing, it depends on the viewer. Watch it if the dvd is available near you.

A film to enjoy!

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