The Patience Stone (rating: 3.5/4)
Here’s an eloquent film made more excellent by an outstanding performance by the lead actress, Golshifteh Farahni. It concerns the unrelenting atrocities committed towards women and soldiers in Afghanistan as told through the claustrophobic perspective of a persecuted female living under shariah law.
A nameless woman (the protagonist) finds herself cornered when her husband is left in a vegetative state from an encounter with another jihadist soldier. The men are the ones who fight but the women are the ones who suffer. Unable to work or accomplish necessary daily tasks, it is nearly impossible for the woman to earn a living. She is left scrambling and scrounging around looking for any source of income that would buy medicine necessary to nurse her husband back to health.
She searches for help from relatives but they do not care. She even becomes a prostitute only to barely scrape by. But when she is not looking for income she sits by her husband’s bedside professing her secret desires and dreams as monologue conversations with her unresponsive headmaster. These are things she could never have divulged to him when he was responsive because she would have been beaten or, worse yet, divorced.
The Closed Circuit (rating: 3/4)
The purpose of some films is to tell the world about some injustice suffered or still occurring. Closed Circuit dramatizes the true story of three young and ambitious entrepreneurs who opened a state-of-the-art factory in Poland, only to have four government bureaucrats arrest them and seize their assets. The businessmen are incarcerated and viciously abused and, even after their release, their perpetrators are never reprimanded or punished; instead, they are promoted. For the most part, the film delivers the political thrills desired and nearly always remains focused on its goal to provoke you to stand up against the Polish government’s corruptness.
Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve (rating: 3.5/4)
When questioned about the role of the American Federal Reserve (the Fed) in the economic crisis, the average person responds with a blank look, a shrug or an uneducated answer. The Fed was responsible for the U.S. housing bubble and its eventual collapse in 2007, the ongoing printing of paper money and the lowering and raising of interest rates, yet many still do not know!?
Money for Nothing is mandatory viewing for anyone who is unaware of the basics of economics, politics and the assigned tasks of the Fed. The film is a concise, fast paced, accessible (for those willing to pay attention) and even satirical peer into the current American economic situation and the historical context behind it. If there is any complaint to be made about this documentary it’s that it is too dense. There are way too many concepts and historical footnotes for the entire work to be grasped in one sitting by the average person. I recommend this film for students, parents, teachers and anyone else who is not informed. The western consumerist style of living is in danger. Our hubris will need to come to an end. We must create a more stable economic system based not on debt and purchasing, but on saving and the manufacturing of goods.
Tri-Cities NOW film reviewer Joshua Cabrita is a Port Coquitlam resident.
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