SHOW AND TELL: BOMBSHELL AND GARABANDAL
Recent releases have given us much food for thought in terms of revisiting human agency.
Little Women and Bombshell might first come to mind as these two films constitute powerful tributes to women’s empowerment and resilience.
Another pairing opens other lines of inquiry to consider how committed cinema can be rebranded as a form of moral ecology that questions regimes of abusive power.
In Bombshell and Garabandal, the viewer discovers women who struggle with powerful institutions that hijack truth and reality. Mechanisms of coercing and silencing work to undermine the action of individuals who strive to balance loyalty, accountability and responsibility. Whether they cover the news or testify to a religious experience, these women bear witness to a version of reality that challenges and disturbs established forms of authority. Their individual mission collides with the collective agenda, and pries open ruling ideologies. Yet, their words are distorted and weakened; their influence is undermined, their testimonies are dismissed. People around them lack of courage to stand with them even as they see and know that they are right. A few engage in blatant lies to invalidate their work, more turn a blind eye.
Some victory comes at a cost, but the complete happy ending is deferred.
It will be up to the viewer to find some closure, and peace.
These films celebrate individual courage and boldness. They invite the viewer to consider the power of cinema as a tool to investigate the challenges of present by revisiting past events, and consider the tragic legacy of intimidation and fear, silence and hypocrisy, complacency and ignorance.
Perhaps they function as truth-telling mechanisms when news has become fake, and fiction no longer is where you expect it to be.
AN UNLIKELY ADDITION: KNIVES OUT
A gothic house and its gallery of grotesque characters
Suspense and reversals. Creaky steps and a dark park. Terror with the spice of humor, horror with the buffer of wit.
Daniel Craig, alias James Bond, presides over a script which stages moral conflicts where good prevails without compromising itself.
And where enjoying a cup of coffee with the right mug in the right hand on the right balcony provides happy vantage point and felicitous denouement.