Monday, February 18, 2013
WHITE ELEPHANT ( ELEFANTE BLANCO) at the CINEWORLD
The best course for the Church would be to re-position its ethos as the champion of poverty alleviation the world over.This film goes a long way into delving into the kind of viable scenario this vital process which only a re-galvanised Church rich in the heritage of Liberation Theology can take as it still holds a unique bridging role with its relations to all sectors of society.
For various historical reasons Argentinian Cinema has been at the cusp of the forefront to open new avenues of artistically expressed genuine social debate , crossing all sectors of the community , in the Spanish speaking World.
This film takes of a semblance of responsibility to marry up the two strands of engagement to being a focal point of articulating the aspirations of the People into a mainstream stimulus for a society wide discussion in the Spanish World , no less including Spain itself , to economic growth and wealth distribution that the corporate funded political sphere have no appetite to engage.
In this Guardian article the reviewer fails to perceive a very vital shift in which we have a rare voice of direct criticism of current economic and social policies in real time , not the usual devices and metaphors normally deployed such as dream sequences of a fuzzy past , near gothic foggy scenes of a shadow parallel universe or flights of "Franco Aesthetics" only the most sophisticated monitors of the medium would gleam from the subtle surface fabric.The ground-breaking approach of tackling current issues in the present tense is an admirably audacious and worthy stance that requires heartfelt appreciation.
The Church in South America is at a crossroads from which it can traverse either of two courses , one is sadly the path it did traverse in the 20th century ( mostly at the prompting of European influence) of becoming the State Religion for Hire par excellence for ruling colonials , colonels and entrenched elites , corporate economics.The other path no open and ready to traverse if the will is there is to become a genuine player in championing the rights of the poor from a position of being able to argue and influence its corner from a stable foothold in the centre of politics , using the role carved out by liberation theology to the next level by lobbying to cement economic policies that not only allow the Church to merely minister to the poor , but make it a mission to take the poor out of economic exile into a middle-class existence, thereby strengthening the Churches own position by increasing a new neo-middle class (the only class , according to astute historians, that can effect and affect revolutions) that is loyal to the ethos of the Church by virtue of being championed by them formally.
Alas a major weakness of the film is the weak role ( so much so she is not even mentioned in the guardian review) given to what should have been a strong , independent three-dimensional character in the work, Matina Gusman , who has great difficulty in getting through the film with her cloths on , and body parts not to be in the hands of inappropriate persons , quite an achievement for someone co-starring with two priests.
It would do credit to future films by this otherwise profound cabal if the role of the Woman is naked only in the substance and the depth of her character and not her body parts.It is disappointing the best role that can be found for a Woman is a present social commentary is the old , chauvanist one of being a temptress for a Priest on a noble cause.
If they can keep their Woman clad and the men diligent Argentinian Cinema could provide the inspiration for which we all can be infinitely grateful , within the Spanish World and Without.