March 22nd, 2010


So, Sunday

I watched the three short documentaries and discussion that made up the LGBT Africadiscussion and was deeply moved by some of it, and angered by the rest of it.

It reminded me in particular of the blood guilt of organized religion towards women and LGBT people, and the way that for many of the persecuted religion is nonetheless, as Karl Marx said,
'the heart of a heartless world.' I can't share the simple sunny tendency of gay Christians who try to love their ecclesiastical persecutors, but I can respect it.

Personally, faced with the sight of a room of Ugandan medical students who had asked LGBT people to a debate in order that they could abuse them and shout ill-remembered quotations from Leviticus at them, I understood for one of the few times in my life, how one could want to own an automatic rifle AND CLEAR THE FUCKING ROOM.

I really wish that there were some way of exercising net-based penalties against the journalists who whip up pogroms to sell papers. At the very least, they should be named and shamed and told that they are a disgrace even to a disgraced profession.

And reminded that, at Nuremburg, Julius Streicher hanged.


I really wanted to like The Fish Child because I was a huge admirer of Lucia Puenzo's previous film XXY. Mind you, that grew on me with repeated watching and maybe a second viewing of TFC would bring it into focus for me. As it is, it strikes me as a lot of very good scenes and powerful bits of material which never quite cohere. It's partly a film about bad fathers and their attempts to redeem themselves; it's partly about the unconditional love of the rejected male suitor of one of the two young women lovers, and the equally unconditional love of their dog. It's partly about class and race and the healing power of story and the extent to which story has so often to be kissing cousin to lies.

One or two bits of the plot remained obscure to me Collapse ).

The movie's plausibility takes a wobbly diversion when it goes thrillerish at the end, and some of the fantasy sequences look especially fey beside those bits. Still, it's often gorgeous to look at, and is good on the complex messiness of families and love. A good film which I hope will grow on me.

A thought about Fish Child

It occurs to me that a number of the problems with that movie may derive from the fact that it is Lucia Puenze's adaptation of her own novel, which means that she has seen it vividly in her own head a lot before trying to put it on screen. It also means that various chunks of it will have been unified in verbal style for which she has not necessarily always found a uniting visual equivalent.