Monday, 1 September 2008

Carla's Song.

Its seriously hot down here on the Rio. With all the moisture being sucked up by Hurricane Gustav as it has battered it's way across Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico we are getting less of the cooling rains that make the climate here a little more bearable.

We don't have air conditioning aboard, tried it one season but felt too 'cut-off' from the real world with it humming away all the time. It also made leaving the boat and it's controlled environment a difficult decision to make! Mmn, Hot and Sweaty or Cool and Dry? Nah let's stay below... So out it went and although sometimes I rue the decision to get rid of the unit on balance I much prefer being able to hear what is going on outside the hull. Hearing the wind as it starts to rise, the sound of an approaching engine, all those tiny sounds of the rain forest that start well before dawn.

Watched a movie the other night that opened my eyes again to the extraordinary beauty and ugliness of Central America. Every so often it is important to look at the place where we are through another set of eyes. For me this is sometimes through the medium of film. I find it a good way of re-aligning myself with a situation. A way of jolting my perceptions back in to order. I know sounds a bit weird but it works for me. After a period of time in a new location I find that I am ceasing to really see the land around me, the little details that bring home how fortunate we are to be in such an exotic location.

So, Carla's Song, was the vehicle to effect the change this time! Set back in the late 80's in both Glasgow, Scotland and Nicaragua, during the time of the Sandanista war with the USA, it's a close observation of the interface between two individuals as they try to come to terms with each other's cultural inheritance.

It's not a subtle film, first time screenwriter, Paul Laverty, who went on to far greater things(The Wind that shakes the Barley, Sweet Sixteen) fails at times to explore some of the anomalies of the story BUT it's worth watching to see the contrast between the dingy grey views of a wet and dismal Glasgow contrasted with the vibrant and violent colours of Nicaragua.

Director, Ken Loach, whom I have long admired brings his usual passion about human rights and political awakening to the movie. I recommend it.

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