Went for a subtitle flick last evening. It was more of a public viewing. They played the movie on a white screen from a projector in a quiet café in the middle of downtown KL. It is a highly commendable effort by the café showing such foreign movies to the general public for free.
Terre et Cendres is an Afghan movie, following the journey of a grandfather traveling across the country with his deaf grandson to reunite with his son, father of the grandson after their village was ravaged by brutality of war.
There sweeping landscape was barren and arid land. The setting was gloomily dusty. The dialogue was minimal and well, foreign. The movie was slow paced and flat. I suppose that was reflecting the nothingness after war, confronting the audience with the dreadfulness of the aftermath and instigating contemplation.
To me watching a foreign movie is challenging and it’s all about multi-tasking. Obviously the language barrier, the eyes must simultaneously watch the scenes and read the subtitles. The movie is normally Indie and artsy hence there was neither Bollywood routines nor Hollywood effects. The brain has to stay awake, follow through with undivided attention and at the same time process the visuals and ponder on them deeply. It requires full on, mind and body and soul commitment to enjoy the flick. Hence the slightest disturbance triggers utter contempt.
Oh boy. We had got disturbances coming like the Americans dropping bombs all over the Afghan hills. There were mobile phone ringing and text message alerting. Wasn’t there an announcement before the show started to remind us silencing our phones? Were these people stupid or deaf? Well most likely both.
Then there were these two middle-aged ladies, which we “fondly” call aunties, sitting behind me. To begin with, they came in late. Then they were whispering on and on and on. They were actually verbalizing the movie, frame by frame! “Oh look at the trees are all yellow and dry and barren.” “The grandson eating an apple.” “See, the grandfather is walking away.” Oh man, that was like so damn fucking annoying! I had had it with them, I turned around and shoo-ed them quiet.
People can be so unconsidered, so rude and so stupid. Such intolerable acts should be told off into their faces. But we are not taught to stand up for ourselves when such situations are done unto us. We must not create a scene in the public. What’s the point? It’s not in us to be confrontational. We are all about talking, or bitching about it after the fact, but never there and then. We are taught to bite our tongue and swallow our dismay, even though we are totally right and the others are totally wrong.
What kind of bullshit is that?
It’s time to change. It’s late, but better than never.