A look back at the Wales One World Festival

wow 270RECENTLY at the Arts Centre, a series have films have been shown as part of the Wales One World film festival. This is a quick snippet of two of the films shown, which give you an idea of the different types of film that were shown. You can also find an extended review of the film Delight, another film that was part of the festival, on the ASM website soon.

Winter Nomads (By Sam Halford)

Winter Nomads is a documentary based upon a dying way of life. The feature follows two shepherds Pascal and Carol as they set out on their annual transhumance, a process of herding hundreds of sheep across the country to find new grasslands for the sheep to feed on. The journey takes place in Switzerland during an incredibly harsh winter, the couple need to cope with the freezing cold, rationing their food supply and generally survive the journey whilst ensuring that their dogs, four donkeys and eight hundred sheep are well kept.

Incredibly dull

The cinematography is beautiful to say the least, every single shot capitulates the atmosphere, scenery and reality of the situation. The quality of which would be impressive for a fictional movie, but to be able to capture the exquisiteness of the environment whilst shooting actual events is outstanding. Which is why it’s so painful for me to say just how dull this film is, throughout the film I never felt any tension, the feeling of will they/won’t they achieve a goal. The highlights of the film are the animals being either adorable, troublesome or entertaining in some way, if the movie didn’t regularly cut to them I could easily see myself walking out due to boredom.

The film is an hour and a half of two people herding sheep, with the only highlight being how beautifully shot the film is. However, I don’t think this film is for my generation. The cinema audience was filled with members that were two generations above my own and they seemed to have responded well.

the golden 270The Golden Dream (By Sarah Thornhill)

This film has been screened at various film festivals, including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The director Diego Quemada-Diez made his debut with this film and it has made an interesting start to his career. It was nominated for an award at Spain’s national film awards but did not receive the recognition that the director thought it deserved. He has been quoted in interviews saying that the film in search for the American dream was embodied in a conflict between two contrasting children. The further they get down the path they grow as people, as well as the more literal journey.

What it says on the tin

The Golden Dream is what it says on the tin. It is a story of progress and dreaming of a better future, a better life. The story follows a group of three teens trundling from Guatemala to the US border, illegally. Along the way they encounter various issues. Mainly, the fact they have no ID, no valid way to work, no money, no place to stay, no idea of where to really go, no connections and no safety net. They have to trust themselves and no one else.

As well as this, they pick up an Indian traveller too. They try their best to give him the old heave-ho but he doesn’t let them, and stays to them like a puppy dog. At one point in their journey the Indian gets into some trouble with the police and the others get dragged in it, the police steal their shoes. One of the original three turns back to Guatemala. The new three continue on their way, completely unaware of the trouble that is yet to hit them.

The lack of speech in the film makes it seem like you are sitting there for a lot longer than you actually are. It definitely drags it out a bit. However, the moments in the film when there is speech are made even more important with this significant addition to the sounds of voices, even if they are not necessarily comforting. Quemada-Diez focuses more on the body language and the environment of the illegal immigrants as they make their journey to the border. This makes their bonds grow tighter and even more heart quenching when they are broken.

The American Dream

They are unluckily the victims of various hostile take-overs. In one very unfortunate incident; the only female of the group is carted off to be sold into the sex trade, which is fairly ironic considering at the beginning she is seen cutting all of her hair off and wrapping cloth around her breasts to make her appear like a man.

However, it is still sickening to watch her been dragged off and her protective friends being beaten to a pulp to try to save her. She is lost. Forever. The others continue on their way to safety and find themselves in the face of death again when some terrorists have them at gun point, but they escape. After being smuggled across the border to the USA, they think they are safe. How wrong they were. The Indian boy is hit by a camouflaged machine-gunner and the original Guatemalan runs off, absolutely petrified. The film ends with the sole survivor seen about twenty years later. Yes he got his American dream but at what cost? Everything that glitters is not golden.