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Beyond The Hills

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Beyond The Hills - 6/9/2013 11:38:42 PM   
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Modern masterpiece? - 6/9/2013 11:38:42 PM   

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One of the most powerful films in recent memory. I'm having a hard time thinking of any possible reason not to call this absolutely perfect.

It's a harrowing and disturbing look at a secluded and warped society, one which is very real. At it's heart it's about the world that we live in and the good and evil that exist within it. The story revolves around two girls that were once lovers and best friends, reunited at the convent. One is a nun there, the other who's come to visit has no beliefs at all. They disagree with each others paths and the visiting girl clashes with the priest and the other nuns, resulting in a real life exorcism (this is based off a real event). Their delusions and their thought process leads them to believe this girl is possessed, and without realising it their actions cause extreme and haunting results. It's all mostly set in a convent, totally separate from the outside world, but ironically, as different and separated as they think they are, their actions and beliefs mirror (metaphorically) the nature of the world they try to separate themselves from.

It's a very methodical film and it's moves at a very slow pace, but it's never anything less than completely absorbing. It's frustrating to watch these people and their decisions and the way they choose to live. As the film goes on it becomes more and more hard to stomach, to the point that I wanted to shout at my tv screen. Nobody is accepted if 'God isn't in their soul'. They refuse to believe that anyone can think differently and they believe that their powers are so great, they completely misread situations and miss the reality that's right in front of them. The results of this are so powerful to watch unfold, it's sad and it's maddening and even scary. The Devils by Ken Loach came to mind while watching this, and that of course is not a bad thing. Although this is far more grounded in reality the similarities to the story are definitely there. I've also read comparisons to Bergman and from what I've seen I'd say they are accurate, with the stripped back and methodical, world view approach.

It's a really bleak film, there's not a lot of colour, the black and white of the costumes and the grey landscapes and buildings add that sense of the world being dominated by 'sins' and horrible, unthinkable acts, situations and events. There is no musical score, or if there was it must have been so blended into the noises I must have missed it. That really added to it for me, because with there being no music, not only could you hear the sounds that so clearly represent a stereotype of the world's state (in the city scenes, the noise is constantly construction work, drills, metal, diggers etc), but it added to the overall tone of their not being any hope. It might all sound depressing, and I guess it is, but it's final message that nobody or anything is great enough to fully overcome the horrors and the tragedies of the world was so powerful. It really felt like something the director was passionate about putting on screen, and something that's so relevant not only today but will be relevant forever. An amazing piece of work and for me, it's a modern masterpiece.

< Message edited by Coyleone -- 6/9/2013 11:39:42 PM >

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RE: Beyond The Hills - 31/12/2013 12:06:29 PM   


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The final shot, with windshield wipers struggling to clean away a torrent of muddy water, suggests that no human agency is great enough to handle this world's misery.

Beyond The Hills

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