Thursday, October 21, 2010

"We needed each other desperately to survive so we wouldn't go mad and that's why we hated each other."

Crazy is a 1999 film by Heddy Honigmann, who will be featured in the Taiwan International Documentary Festival about to be underway in Taizhong (Oct 22 - 31, 2010). The film talks to former Dutch UN peacekeepers about their experiences of a variety of different conflicts including Bosnia, Korea andCambodia. The interesting thing about the documentary is that it asks the peacekeepers about their experiences by focusing on the songs that kept them sane throughout the conflicts. As well as classical music there were a good few almost comically dated songs, Guns and Roses hits, and Seal's "Crazy" to name a few, but these songs take on a more poignant meaning when the camera witnesses the former peacekeepers carried back into the horrors of their memories of what they saw and experienced. Even the most blasé of the peacekeepers were visibly affected by the music.

The movie is interesting whether you approach the it with an interest in terms of dealing with the stress of conflict, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or approach it with an interest in the definition or effect of music. A cheesy love song can become laden with unrelated pathos of tragedy of war, this film seems to probe the way different human psyches react to the pain of others, whether it is retreat into the fantasy of music, regarding one's job as just carrying out orders and thereby rejecting moral responsibility for the effects of those actions, or identification with the victims.

The excellence of the film comes through in its unwillingness to detour from its field of interest, and its refusal to indulge in heroising or criticism of the UN's role as peacekeepers; It's aim lies not in a political viewpoint which it wishes to forward but rather in the observation of the phenomenon of modern war and peace.

Rating: 4.5/5 Definitely worth seeing

The trailer is soundless unfortunately because of copyright (!?!)

and there's an interview in Spanish with the director:

and English

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