Eter (Zanussi, 2018): Poland, Ukraine, Russia

Reviewed by William Edwards at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

”Eter” directed by the eminent Polish director, Krzysztof Zanussi, was a magnificent cultural, psychological and philosophical statement meant to reveal the impact that evil has on the world.  The set design, narrative and acting all lend itself towards the understanding that evil is certainly present in this world and it certainly had a foothold around the turn of the century, right at the brink of World War One.

The story of a doctor trained in the science at that time shows the fascinating backdrop of the pre-scientific ideas of the ether along with other psychic phenomena popular reveals a kind of extreme ultra scientific mentality that resists common notions of humanity.  The main character of “Doctor”; who in fact, does not have a name in the movie, is ambitious to bring Scientific discoveries as a means to control other people, and gain personal power.  His relationship to his assistant, Tara, reinforces his means to an end thinking, as he moves through the story only bent on satisfying personal goals and desires without really caring about individuals.

Although the

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Un Ange (Koen Motier, 2019): Belgium

Reviewed by William Edwards for the 2019 Santa Barbara Film Festival

The movie, Un Ange, directed by Koen Motier, was a powerful movie that linked personal relationships, class difference, substance abuse and cultural influence in a fascinating narrative that would grip most audiences who love independent movies and have a strong disposition.  It’s the story of a meeting between a celebrated cyclist from Belgium and a Senegalese prostitute that takes tragic dimensions, as often modern narratives do, when one starts to get involved in drugs.

Thierry, a Belgium cyclist, decides to go on vacation after an accident and relax, party in Senegal with his brother, who apparently unbeknownst to him has supplied him with drugs.  While attending a nightclub he meets a prostitute, Fae, who does not officially admit to being a prostitute, since she does not own a health card, meet and fall in love quickly. After spending time together they decide to go back to the hotel and from here the story defends into a hell that is both graphic and tragic.

The fascination of the movie emerges from the unlikely pairing of two people of different classes who,

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Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

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