June 17, 2004

beyond borders

beyond bordersbeyond borders
dir. by martin campbell

I rented this because, well, I'm a closet Angelina Jolie fan. And I admire the work she's done with the UNHCR. I think she's one of the few "celebrities" affiliated with the UN who is not bullshit about it, but really puts her time, money, energy and heart into the involvement...

That being said, this movie did not particularly move me. The viewer is treated to a small sampling of the horrors that befall refugees from around the world everyday - but we're never really shown why it matters. We are let in through the perspective of a revised socialite, a woman torn between an upper-middle class lifestyle and the humane desire to see needy people be taken care of.

But apart from the intrinsic sense of helping we should all hope to have in spades, what message is this supposed to send the casual viewer? There's nothing about the refugees shown in the film, besides their impoverishment, that would drive a person to be moved to action. We are witnessing them at their worst, but get no glimpse of them as the rounded humans they are.

And the film also attempts at a love story between the leald (AJ) and the cynical, yet blindly-zealous field doctor. The love story fails, in my opinion. It's not that Jolie and Clive Owen aren't fun to look at, but the portrayal of their relationship doesn't make sense, her attachment to him doesn't make sense.
posted by julie at June 17, 2004 06:23 PM


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