INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARD NOMINEES
Political Film Society members have nominated
five films for an award for raising political consciousness
at the HIFF:
Beyond Barbed Wire consists of several interviews
of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought during
World War II in Asia and Europe, revealing important differences
between Japanese of the uptight West Coast versus the more
relaxed Hawai`i culture, between the way in which Generals
Clark and Dahlquist used the Japanese American soldiers in
battle, and how offspring of the war heroes perceive themselves
and their parents.
Homeless is a documentary on the Chinese who
moved to Korea more than a century ago yet are kept on the
margins of society, forced to renew visas triennially.
Poverty Outlaw is a documentary that describes
how the poor organized politically in North Philadelphia to
claim their rights.
Deep in Paradise shows the problems of a Philippine
project known as "Doctors in the Barrios," wherein new M.D.s
go to the provinces and try to press for government spending
to provide better sanitation and paved roads so that farmers
can take their crops to market.
Beyond Sarajevo shows how journalists took the
lead in bringing children of Bosnia to safety in Italy, similar
to the "babylift" from Vietnam in 1973.
TO OPEN IN A FEW WEEKS
Steven Spielberg's Amistad, which tells the
story of the fate of a slave ship in the U.S. territorial
waters promises to be a PFS nominee this year. The deadline
for all nominations, both for feature films and HIFF films,
is December 31.
MORE FILMS NOMINATED FOR 1997 AWARDS
Two recent films have been nominated for promoting consciousness
of the need for more democracy. Jon Avnet's Red Corner
has been nominated for promoting consciousness of the need
for more democracy in China. Although much of the story is
jazzed up with Hollywood hyperbole (sex, a chase scene, courtroom
antics, etc.), the film demonstrates how extralegal considerations
endemic in crony rule prevent the criminal justice system
from producing a just outcome. Francis Ford Coppola's The
Rainmaker has been nominated for an award in promoting
consciousness of the need for more democracy in the United
States. The protagonist, a young lawyer, has difficulty bringing
about justice in three cases (a battered wife who fears revenge
or poverty if she divorces, a wealthy widow dazzled by a televangelist
who needs money for his private jet, and a victim of an accident
who cannot get an insurance company to pay for urgent medical
treatment). The film reminds us that the big insurance companies
seek to defraud insurees in various ways, including "tort
reform legislation." Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil has been nominated for an
award in raising consciousness of human rights for gays. Despite
some stereotypic portrayals, the film is a plea for acceptance
of gays as upstanding "members of the community" who should
be treated equally.
Other nominees for 1997:
The Peacemaker, Seven Years in Tibet.
L.A. Confidential, Rosewood, Seven Years in Tibet
Years in Tibet.