State of the World (3 stars)

This article is from 2007.

(Pedro Costa/Chantal Akerman/Wang Bing/Ayisha Abraham/Vicente Ferraz/Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Portugal, 2007) 101min

Portmanteau films are always hard to pull off. After the carbohydrate rich, protein poor dish that was Paris, je t’aime, this six short film look at the state of the world is much more demanding. No film more so than Wang Bing’s Brutality Factory (pictured), a wincingly vivid account of torture methods in China during the Cultural Revolution that also shows the factory as it is today.
Vicente Ferraz’s Germano is a much lighter work, and yet with a serious subtext as Brazilian fishermen go into deeper waters than usual, and, after the engine cuts out, come up against a huge Russian tanker. Heavily, perhaps cumbersomely, symbolic, this is nevertheless a fully-achieved short piece.

Pedro Costa’s films are almost unknown in Britain, so it is good to get to see even a few minutes of his work. Tarrafal is a meditative look at faces caught in textured light as it examines through the characters’ thoughts and observations events in Cape Verde’s past. There are also films here by Chantal Akerman, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Ayisha Abraham, which are intriguing but not always engaging. As we’d expect, a bit of a curate’s egg – but at least these eggs are protein rich. (Tony McKibbin)

Filmhouse, 623 8030, 24 Aug, 9.30pm, £6.50 (£4.55).

State of the World (O Estado do Mundo)

  • 2007
  • Portugal
  • 1h 41min
  • E
  • Directed by: Various

Multi-layered omnibus film project from some of the world's finest filmmakers.

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