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Durban Film Festival


Love is strange

Love is strange indeed. How many words do we have for love?

Day 3 at DIFF consisted of three films that have love as its central theme - admiration for a friend, revenge after the loss of a loved one and love by family and friends.

How strange to be named Federico is Ettore Scola's tribute to his friend, Frederico

Fellini. This documentary, part recreation and part original footage, shows how the

master developed from cartoonist to deity. I expected a more dissecting portrait of the

maestro. I wanted to leave the cinema with a better understanding of his films, but that

was absent. I enjoyed the characters, especially the always smiling prostitute called

Mona Lisa and the narrator who seemed to pop out of nowhere. Pity it only had one


John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play an aging gay couple in the very dream-like and

sad Love is strange. The film caused a stir at major film festivals . Hats off to these two

prolific actors for being so convincing. In the film, George (Molina) gets fired from the

Catholic school where he teaches for being gay and the couple has to sell their apartment

and move in with family and friends. I would have loved to see the powers that be at the

school who dismissed him get what they deserved, but it seems liberated NY is small-
town America at heart. The film, set to the melancholic music of Chopin, is a portrait

of the dynamics of relationships as the couple is split up. Thank you Ira Sachs for not

showing gay people as cartoon characters. Love is strange has another screening on 22


The highlight of my day and my festival so far was the bloodfest that will make the Coen

brothers proud and Quinton Tarantino jealous. What happens when your son allegedly

OD's on cocaine? Love quickly turns to revenge. In The order of disappearance you wipe

out the city's drug underworld, starting with the gopher and ending with the drug boss.

And if you can't fight them by yourself, you let them destroy each other. This film, that

debuted in Berlin, is a Norwegian crime thriller that should appeal to everybody that

devour Hollywood action flicks. The only difference is that it is in Norwegian. This film

should be released on circuit for a wider audience to enjoy it. Catch this Norwegian film

noir masterpiece on 26 July, but only if blood doesn't offend you.

* Day 4 has a very serious tone: a South African documentary called Fatherland, Israelis and

Palestinians clash in Omar, and My blind heart, a portrayal of Marfan syndrome.


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