2015/06/18

Day 100: The Good Lie (June, 17) - Special Guest: Sense8

After getting to the end of the Sense8's first season, I couldn't stand to see a cold movie as yesterday's. Browsing the Netflix movies, I found one that looked to match my mood. 

I don't know why we don't heard more about The Good Lie, a 2014 production about The Lost Boys of Sudan, how are known the Sudanese refugees that migrated to the US in the early '2000s.The program was halted after 9/11 to be restarted on 2004. By a lottery, refugees were selected to move to a city in the US. The movie talks about this program through the lives of 5 of these Sudanese. 

There are moments in which my heart seemed to stop. That old sense of impotence came back with full force. The scenes of Sudan Civil War were devastating. And all the things this group of brothers and friends go through, their lost childhood to war, the loss of their parents and brothers, the long peregrinations across a country that became an impossible place to be , the arriving to a new but strange possibility... it is painful  and sad to say the least. But we go through that by the lovely hands of those who lived the impossible. 

An institutional program can be amazing and very important, but it is still an institution way of taking care of people. This aspect is highlighted when the five refugees arrive at the US. People designated to assist on their transition don't understand at first where they came from and their views of the world.I like this element on the story, it shows how their travel to the US is not just a happy event, a lucky opportunity. Even if it is indeed a great program, they still have to leave behind all the life they know... it is not easy and simple. Bureaucracy has also a role in this. And it is not because a new opportunity is presented, that all the awful loss and pain and violence automatically disappear from their lives. What makes the difference at the end is people, those incredible individuals that act in order to reverse some of the discrepancies created by bureaucracy. 


And here's all their luggage...

Uma Boa Mentira (The Good Lie). Dirigido por Phillipe Falardeau. Com: Alnold 
Oceng (filho de um refugiado), Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Kuoty Wiel (os útlimos 
três são refugiados - Jai foi uma criança soldado). Roteiro: Margareth  Nagle. Quênia/
India/EUA, 2014, 110 min.,  SDDS/Datasat/Dolby Digital, Color (Netflix). 

Usually, I would talk about Sense8 on a post scriptum, but after a few days with the story created by the revolutionary Wachowskis, there was no way to talk about it by small letters. 

At the TV show's first episode, all the outlines that make this series so good and relevant are there. The despicable sexism present on the world - sentences as "a woman is no good to close anything, just to open..." or "she is a good DJ for a girl" say a lot about some of the prejudices debated on the show. It is also on this episode that what for me is the essential aspect of it is presented by the opinion of one of the eight protagonists on the series, Noomi. At some point, a girl questions her opinion on how LBGT terminology is a disservice actually. Her argument is that the name focuses on the difference. The girl is mad with her, saying that the gay community fought hard for their rights and their recognition. 

Noomi's opinion meets my own about this. For a while, I've been thinking how so many of the human's rights terminology highlight the differences, in a contrary way to its own purpose. By any means I'm diminishing the efforts of those who work for a better world. But without us being aware of that, some of these politics focus on the difference, no in the equality. And that's exactly the point by which Sense8 plays an important and pioneer role on the pursuit of a more equal world. 

Lana and  Andy Wachowski
I've read at imdb.com how Andy Wachowski is fiercely protective of his sister, Lana, that went through a gender change about 7 years ago. This fierceness is an important part and one of the main strengths of the tale about eight individuals from different places on the world that have a strong and deep connections with each other. It's a SciFi story, and why this is happening with those eight is explained in a not so fantastic way, as many of the scifi plots, oddly enough. But I've already said here how fantasy and science fiction can approach life in a manner that facts cannot. This is specially true in Sense8.

Empathy is rare in the world nowadays. If it was present in some time of human history actually. That's one of the reasons it is so difficult to relate to different cultures, views of the world, sexual orientation, different ways of life from our own. It is absolutely sad that things has been like this since we know it. Humanity is one, human beings are the same, and we shouldn't have to live the same way to understand that. From my little literal square in the middle of Brazil I can see that (thanks to many amazing friends and the movies, lets not forget them). My own choices don't exclude the understanding of other's ways of living. I really don't know why is so difficult to see that. 

The pursuit for equality on gender and sexual matters, for example, is around the world. But many still have the opinion of how the relationship between the same sex is wrong, an anomaly, and even a crime. Mostly don't dare to express it outside their intimacy, but the prejudice is still on. Under other perspective, there are many TV and movie's productions that focus on homosexual relations, and they are a way to debate equality. But, except for a few ones, they do that reaffirming the difference . I usually don't stay with these shows  for long. Again, I'm not saying they are for nothing, that they don't present an important debate and views, but there's something there that sounds off to me. 

During the first episodes of Sense8, I could identify why was that: all the stories until now (with, again, a few exceptions)  were like that for me, a bit off. They had the main focus on the difference of choices. Sense8 highlights how equal we are. There's no space to prejudices there - the empathy between the characters talks fiercely against any kind of harmful judgment. An empathy that the world still lacks, except for few individuals, and that's why this series, for me, is so important in nowadays' discussion about freedom of choice, equality, genre, social fairness and also fair trade. It is all there, in many precious details, through an impeccable production. 

With eight (amazing) protagonists, we don't see time passing. The ending of each episode comes too soon. And every relation, connections, references  is clearly presented with a lot of care.This show has a clear and strong voice, and I was enchanted by it. Some references and relations are great and part of a big puzzle. There are fundamental dialogues, incredible action (we couldn't expect less from the Wachowskis), a bizarre and scary villain (Called Mr. Whispers...spooky), funny scenes, heartbreaking characters, sweet interactions, beautiful and explicit sex. But, above all, there are eight people that stop in front of nothing in order to support each other, each one an individual that is part of a whole. As humanity should realize it is in essence. And it will, I hope, with the help of amazing and daring artists, always. 

I really love those characters :)
Ok, they  all are beautiful, sexy, attractive... I'm not complaining, but it is inevitable
to wonder how long we'll have to wait for this other milestone in the history of television?

Sense8. Created by J. Michael Straczynki, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski.
With: MIguel Angel Silvestre, Doona Bae, Amil Ameen, Jamie Clayton, Tuppense
Middleton, Max Rielmelt, Brian J. Smith, Tina Desal. US, 2015 (Netflix).



PS: Although English is the main language in this US production, each different culture presented in it has its own voice, either by the actors' nationality or natural language,the scenery (the filming take place in 9 different cities around the world), or yet by other careful details in each part. One of these details is the soundtrack. For Iceland (my one place to go before I die), there's the beautiful cameo of Sigur Rós, a Icelandic band from Reykjavik. Their heartbreakingly overwhelming music is a good fit for this story, and I was very emotional to see it on the last scene of this first season (There's one of their songs at the first episode, but I couldn't identify it at first - Rodrigo, that thankfully introduced me to Sigur Rós, called my attention to it. Both songs, I think, are a link between the beginning and the ending of this tale).




PPS: Some scattered thoughts came to me with Sense8, by many well presented characters and various details on the story, beyond what I've said already. They were so many, impossible to remember all. Some of them are: Art is fundamental in its different forms (Hernando is a way of debating that). Endorphins are a true trouble :) Different people relate to us in each specific moment of our lives. Books, movies, music are a way to be in the world, to relate to others, but can also be a lonely choice. Otherness is a way to understand ourselves - and art is a way to that. 

Another thought was how it would be nice to see someone not related to the characters writing this story. It would be empathy at its best. But after thinking this, I remembered what Walter Benjamin wrote about storytelling: how a true storyteller is one that narrate from experience. He doesn't inform, he transmits experience through generations and generations by his tales. That is what makes the art of storytelling for the German philosopher: telling experience through stories. We write mostly about what we know, what we live and our experiences. 

PPPS:  TV shows has been an outstanding media for telling good stories. The current format of most of the more recent series - 10 to 12 episodes, instead of the more traditional 22 - presents stories without stalling or wasting time. Movie's producers, writers and actors have found in TV a place to express different and relevant views of the world in impeccable productions. A part of those shows is its title sequence. Maybe not by chance my favorite ones has the most beautiful intros, so much that, even in a marathon, I don't skip them. They are part of the telling. 









2 comments:

  1. "Humanity is one, human beings are the same, and we shouldn't have to live the same way to understand that."

    Holy god, woman! If you keep this work like this, you're going to be my favorite author ever. Murakami may watch himself.

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    1. Oh, man, you got a really generous heart! And a sweetly biased mind regarding me. I wish my writing was this good. Mostly, I write about what the stories tell me... so I think they are to blame here :) Thank you, though, always <3

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