Friday, November 28, 2008

Two good movies

Over the last week or so we have been to see two great movies: "The Lemon Tree" and "Australia". The Lemon Tree is an Israeli film ( here in Armidale!) about the conflict between an Israeli family and a Palestinian woman over a lemon tree grove. It is almost entirely in Hebrew and Arabic and beautifully made. There is a lot of humanity on both sides which makes it feel more realistic. It subtly shows that many Israelis live in a world were they feel oppressed and guilty, perhaps even colonised in some ways by living in such a military state. It also hinted that the children on both sides were heading off into the wider world, they were no longer constrained by the conflict in the Middle East.

The one jarring note in the Lemon Tree was the credits. They rolled by to a beautiful Arabic melody in only English and Hebrew (!!) - no Arabic in sight. My husband was so upset by this that he wrote to the Israeli producer and gently pointed out the hypocrisy. The producer responded in a vague way that it had fit better on the screen that way etc etc but added that perhaps in future he would find a way to include Arabic.

Anyway, it was an excellent film.

Last night I went to see Australia, after watching something on Oprah I was ready for some epic romance. I was surprised to see such an obvious effort to address and include some core issues about the history of Australia, including the relationship between Aboriginal and white people. It is of course a fantasy epic, but there was authentic Aboriginal language ( anyone know what language?) and some sensitivity to cultural realities in NT Aboriginal community.

I cried at least 3 times unashamedly.

The two films also made me realise the we are both beginning to associate ourselves strongly with each others countries and cultures, their battles are our battles.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Look both ways...

I was walking home from uni just now and there were two kids playing in an empty block next to the main road leading to the uni. I walked right through it and said hello as I passed. The two young boys, maybe aged 5 and 6, largely ignored me- there were no adults in sight. One was stuck as he had no shoes and there are bindis all through the grass. His brother (only slightly bigger) ran back to help him and with much difficulty lifted him up and carried him to the roadside (about three metres at a time).

I could see they were heading for the road and I asked them if they were ok to cross it. The older on looked at me disdainfully and said something like "its just cars".

I watched them for a minute and then kept walking.

I wonder if they had not been Aboriginal if I might have stayed and helped them..? I kind of accepted their independence without much worry.

Was this a cultural barrier I just ran into? If they were two such young Anglo kids I might have felt more worried? And more significantly I might have felt more responsible for little two kids far from home and with no parents around...?

I miss Ngukurr.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama "Yes They Did!"

The poster below is one of the many Obama celebratory pics and posters going about the internet. I must admit that I came home to watch Obama's acceptance speech and was quite emotionally overwhelmed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008