Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 Denny Awards - Pt 4 - The "Pale Dennys" ;-) - Movies about Historical Events Generally NOT Taught in School

Finally, Part 4 to my 2013 Denny Awards -- the "Pale Dennys"
(Other Years' Awards)

Part I - Best Films
Part II - Most Compelling Performances / Character Roles (Male)
Part III - Most Compelling Performances / Character Roles  (Female)
Part IV - "The Pale Dennys" - Films about Hist Events Generally NOT taught in School 


All Honorable Mentions:
               Siberian Exile (orig. Syberiada Polska) [2013] - The first feature length film (Polish, w. Eng. Subtitles) about the as many 2,000,000 Poles who were deported from Eastern Poland east to Siberia after their lands were annexed by the Soviet Union as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939.  A similar number of Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians were deported East after these lands were annexed by the Soviet Union as part of the same agreement as well, and entire peoples (that of the Tatars from Crimea and the Chechens of the Caucususes were deported by Stalin in this way after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union).
               Aftermath (orig. Pokłosie) [2013] - Serves me right, the day after I write up this list of films, I see a film that certainly belongs on this year's list as well.  A noirish (Polish, w. Eng. Subtitles) film based on the true story of the Nazi-era pogrom in the Polish village of Jedwabne where the Polish villagers themselves murdered the Jewish families of their community ostensibly to steal their land.  The film serves to remind viewers that there millions of people across Europe who live in homes/property that did not originally belong to them or their families but belonged to others (Jews, Germans, Poles, the Church, "rich people" in general) prior to WW II.  It's a really dark secret and it's a real mess. 
               Aluku Liba: Maroon Again [2009] - French language w. Eng. Subtitled film about the communities of descendents of run-away slaves existing to this day in the jungles of French Guiana and Suriname.  The swamps, jungles and frontierlands of EVERY SLAVE OWNING COUNTRY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE (including the United States) HAD SIMILAR COMMUNITIES of run-away slaves existing outside the reach of the authorities of slave owning lands.  Most were either wiped-out by sweeps of the militaries of the slave-owning lands or became assimilated into the rest of society after slavery was abolished.  In French Guiana/Suriname, these communities apparently have been so isolated from the rest of society that they continue to exist on their own.
               Tlatelolco, Summer of 68 (orig. Tlatelolco, Verano del 68) [2013] - A Mexican (Spanish lang., Eng. subtitled) film, again the first of its kind, about the events leading-up to a Tienanmen-like Massacre of hundreds of students in Mexico City three weeks prior to the opening of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.  The authorities wanted a "peaceful Olympics" -- yup, they were as "peaceful" as a grave.
               Burning Bush (orig. Hořicí Keř) [HBO-Europe Miniseries 2013] - A Czech lang., Eng. subtitled film / miniseries about the self-immolation of a Czech university student named Jan Palach in January 1969 in protest to the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia.  His death remained an open wound in that country until the fall of Communism twenty years later in 1989.
               Gypsy (orig Cigán) [2011] and Papusza [2013] two films, one Slovak/Roma with English subtitles, the second Polish/Roma with English subtitles about the Roma (Gypsies), Europe's indigenous "darker skinned' people who have often been terribly treated by Europe's lighter-skinned majorities.
                Wolfschildren (orig. Wolfskinder) [2013] - German film, English subtitled about the possibly thousands of young children left behind to fend for themselves sometimes for years behind Soviet lines after the Red Army overran what used to be German East Prussia.  Many of the children found their way ON THEIR OWN to (also) Soviet occupied/annexed Lithuania were many rural Lithuanian families adopted them into their homes. 
                Philomena [2013] - about the abuses of the "Magdalene Laundries" run by Catholic nuns in Ireland up until recent times for mostly unwed pregnant teenagers.  The Catholic nuns did not start these "Magdalene Laundries" in Ireland (the Protestants did, when Catholicism was still illegal there) but they did run them with gusto for far longer than anyone outside of Ireland would have imagined.
                Dallas Buyers' Club [2013] - about the desperation of those infected by HIV in the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
                With You, Without You (orig. Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka) [2013] a Sri Lanken / Tamil film with English subtitles set in the context of the aftermath of the crushing of the Tamil insurgency there.
                The Reluctant Fundamentalist [2012] - A plea for understanding, made by a famed Indian woman director, based on a best selling novel by a Pakistani author and acted by some of Hollywood's top actors about the nuances/complexities of the War on Terror.
                Shadow Dancer [2012] - about the quite "dirty war" waged by British authorities in Northern Ireland against the IRA during the "Troubles" there in the 1970s-1990s.
                Viva Belarus! (orig. Żywie Biełaruś!) [2012] - a Polish/Belarussian, Eng. subtitled film about Belarus, where 1989 never really arrieved.
                Dust (orig. Polvo) [2012] - A Guatemalan/German film (Spanish language with English subtitles) set in the Guatamalan countryside and regarding the aftermath of the genocidal counter-insurgency warfare that took place there during the decades of the Cold War (1950s-1980s) era.
                 Apaporis: In Search of One River (orig. Apaporis: En Busca del Río) [2010] - film both in English/Spanish (subtitled appropriately) about the indigenous peoples living in Colombia's portion of the Amazon Rainforest.  Ironically, the drug wars and the FARC insurgency in Colombia served to protect the indigenous peoples of southern Colombia BETTER than more "peaceful" areas in South America.

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