Not fade away - Page 2

Tracking those SFIFF films bracketed by returns
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Three generations of fishermen sail the Mexican Caribbean in Alamar

The same well of patrimony and nature has been poisoned in Vimukthi Jayasundara's surreal fable of destruction, Between Two Worlds. In this mythopoetic work, Sri Lanka's 30-year civil war ravages on in screaming city streets and darkened forest visions. We first see the film's central figure — a nameless wanderer resembling many other "chosen ones" — in a death pose, splayed on the beach with crabs crawling over him. Two fishermen trade variations of the story of a prince destined to survive great bloodshed to kill his powerful uncles, and several forest dwellers seem to think our protagonist is the man. The slipperiness of Between Two Worlds' reality, in which visions are liable to be doubled or outright contradicted, evokes both the shifting ground of trauma and different rules of oral storytelling. In its best moments, the film put me in the mood of Jeff Wall and Raúl Ruiz; in its least, a slow-motion Lost. But Between Two Worlds amply demonstrates that returning is not always a matter of volition: such is fate and endless war.

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