Today, December 2, the world celebrates the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. OUTLOOK prepared a compilation of films raises a question of injustice and exploitation of man by man.
These were farewell words of an old blackbird to his master that he said at a slave market in “Slavery” the movie. I have never heard anything more profound on this issue in movies. Over one hundred fifty years ago after a durable war between the North and the South, America finally opted out of the oppressive system. From then onward slaves only appeared on screen in the States.
The issue of
American slavery is probably the most fruitful for directors willing to raise
the idea of already eternal values of freedom and catch the viewer’s most
powerful emotions. Whether it is horror, pity or contempt there are hardly many
people able to watch sufferings of slaves, bloody backs and soulless slave-holders
indifferently. The only difference is how authors grub up these emotions.
It stands to reason to draw attention to a serious issue by a thing easily
perceptible by the audience – love against the background of a problem. For instance,
“Django, unchained”. Two years prior to the civil war, a slave who got
fortunate and brutality towards those who weren’t into the luck. All this is a
background for Django’s heroism, who is striving to get to his beloved wife
despite everything. It is a vivid, full
of emotions and lively movie. According to its director, Quentin Tarantino, “It
is absolutely a love story”. It is controversial how good or bad it is to add a
tinge of cheesiness to the issue. No one likes to cry three hours in a row
anyway. Upside of the slight mass-market overtone is that if by any chance
there is a person somewhere in the States who haven’t pondered the subject of
racism and slavery history, then love and liters of blood sprayed along all
three hours of the film, are sure to attract its attention.
All in all, stories about slavery in the States before the civil war
clearly turn into a trend. Even Brad Pitt decided to address it as a producer –
in the work “12 Years a Slave”. The creators of the Italian poster for the film decided to lure viewers by foto of Brad Pitt - and nothing that he appears in the film only for a few minutes, who excited such conventions...
On top of
that, commonly known Hollywood masterpiece “Gone with the Wind” cursorily but quite
vividly refers to the issues of slavery, combating it and perverted perception
of Ku Klux Klan members about their activities. Comprehensive and memorable
“Cloud Atlas” is about humanity of an enslaved human and about how this
humanity developed in his owners. Furthermore, every earnest TV series nowadays cannot but fall for the opportunity of recalling the dark (in every sense) page of the State’s history.
question is if it is righteous to keep limiting depiction of the problem to
presenting only sufferings. Slavery still exists today. It acquired different
sense, different shapes but never vanished. It is the thinking pattern. And an
awesome attempt to gasp and present this under circumstances of early 19th
century America became the movie “Slavery” – the story of an English woman who
married a plantation owner from Georgia. There is much less blood than in Tarantino’s.
Instead, actor’s behavior is much more expressive as well as depiction of
enslaved people’s life. At the same time, it is possible to evaluate the
owner’s mutilated perception of slaves and care for them. “I’d been reading you
diary and kept thinking: who? Who is this awful person? It was all me”, - said
to the heroine her husband in the end of the movie. The film brings the issue
to a broader angle. It shows how the scales fell from the eyes of a slaveholder
when he set his subservient free. It is this shift in human consciousness that
makes the movie valuable and topical. For there is nothing else that can make a
film more eagerly sought than addressing psyche – unlike historical
circumstances, it doesn’t change.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea. Jūratė forgot that immortal ones are not allowed to enjoy simple human happiness, she fascinated the young man to the bottom of the sea into her amber castle, and there the couple in love lost count of days and nights. On hearing this, the lord of gods Perkūnas decided to punish them: bolt of lightening stroke mortal lover, and disobedient lady was chained within her precious possessions for all eternity. Since then, the grieving goddess cries dropping yellow tears, and waters of the Baltic carry them to the shore for others to enjoy.
The spouse of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine Irina Sultanishvili carried out a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club, in the frame of which some traditional clothes was demonstrated.
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops. Having compelled self-will of the thread to a dream about heaven, promised for humility, skills defied despair and need – to secure victory.
Fashion is an act. Fashion is a demonstration of freedom. Not being afraid to once seem ridiculous and odd, a person risks to become a part of fashion industry. Some names it remembers, some are wrongly forgotten and for some it becomes a pursuit, the meaning of the whole life.
In Kyiv academic theater of drama and comedy under support of Embassy of Belarus to Ukraine and Kyiv city governmental administration it was the play ‘Marriage contract’ of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater. The performance was going in the frame of the tour in Ukraine.
For most people Nigeria is known as a country with huge oil reserves and permanent economic and political problems. At the same time, few people outside Africa know about the powerful film industry of this country, the scale and pace of which are nothing short of incredible. We have engrossed in this subject and tried to understand what a Nollywood is.
Françoise Barbe-Gall teaches how to talk to children about art. She gives practical advices in her books, teaches to see things invisible to many people, to notice details and forget about labels. But we have to admit that among adults there are very few people who can boast with expertise in this area. If you want to change this order of things, today we offer you to go with us to the museums. Yes, it's a good idea, since we have chosen the best.
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
Flowers and trees, animals and birds, dragons and fairytale characters – to put it short, anything that may come to your head can turn into an object of edible art there. Amazing technique of painting with hot sugar is possessed by craftsmen from Sichuan province. Paintings performed in almost caramel can be neither “edited”, nor painted over.
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
There is music which brings us back to life. It happens even if the tears are falling when one listens to it. The musical genre mugham talks to the audience using the right language. Everyone has lived out unhappy love, loss of a close person or ruin of ideals. These topics became the source of inspiration for the musicians of Azerbaijan movement mugham. OUTLOOK will tell about this unique style of music.
The power of gestures burns the text to ashes, sound deafens and takes to the abyss from which all of us come and where we return upon the accomplishment of a short time period called as the life. Attending the Theatre of Cruelty, a human appears in the centre of performance as there are everything we are hiding from in the everyday routine, particularly, freedom and isolation, life on the border, merging with the crows till self is lost and lonely residing at the top. The drama of being involves in its mineral resources, the echo of tragedy overwhelms publics and spectator without noticing it appears in the trap of the own perception. That is about the so-called ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ (theatre de cruaute), the child of French playwright and director, eccentric and shocking Antonen Artaud.