Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sundance: Endgame

Charlie and I saw Endgame last Wednesday night(the 21st), and I wasn't sure how I was going to like it. Sometimes films with heavy, serious topics bring me down, depending on the handling. But I was more than pleased to discover that I enjoyed this film a lot. It plays like a thriller, and keeps you on the edge of your seat as everything unfolds, which the director explained was his intent. He was there beforehand and then for the Q&A afterward, and he made the point that he wanted the audience to feel suspense and tension watching a story where they already knew the outcome, and I think he totally succeeded in that. Because as I was watching it, I was swept up in the mood of fear and unease of the time, wondering how it would all turn out okay, even though I KNEW that apartheid was going to end, Nelson Mandela would be released from jail, and the terrorism and violence in South Africa would subside (well, it's all relative, eh? South Africa continues to have a very high violent crime rate, including what the State Department's web page reports as the highest reported rape rate in the world.)

At any rate, the behind-the-scenes events that unfolded in this film, including secret talks held at a posh English manor house, were so interesting. I really had no idea that such things went on - and I knew about apartheid, I was paying attention, I cared that it ended. I had no idea that a company (Consolidated Gold) was so instrumental in bringing an end to apartheid, and that they started out doing so to protect their financial interests. The whole thing was really fascinating, and very well done. If, like me, you're thinking you might not want to deal with a heavy political film, I encourage you to do so. This one is totally worth it.

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