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.
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.
Many places, famous around the globe today, were created by a bunch of enthusiasts without money or outside help. These people lived for their ideas and were doing everything to turn them into reality. Official date of street art appearance is believed to be year 1942, fervor of World War II.
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
A borderline between the shadow and the light is just as contrasting as the one between the dream and the reality. Therefore artists use both things in pursuit of balance on a painting. Landscapes, portraits and still-life… nothing ever goes without the clash of the opposites. However there are particularly crafty artisans who do not need light at all.
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.
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.
And since winged horses of Valkyries darted away to Valhalla forever, Dalecarlian horse has remained the guardian of Vikings’ traditions – painted folk toy, first mentioned in chronicles of 17th century. Dalecarlian horse serves as an amulet of non-touristic Sweden by saving from oblivion ancient fables and beliefs.
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
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.
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.
Iliko, who devoted all his life to dancing, actually bequeathed to his descendants to do everything possible for his family name remained on posters forever. 70 years later, millions of people in hundreds of countries are buying tickets where in different languages, without translation one can easily read the name of Sukhishvili.
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.
Magic dance of a snake in time with flute’s melody often described in Eastern fairy tales and depicted in movies is no fiction but a true symbol of those countries. In Egypt, India, African countries and some other states slithering tribe are tamed to make a spectacular entertainment out of it. Profession of reptile charmers exists there; it is believed to be as nearly as the most amazing on Earth.
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
Elaborating an itinerary for a modern tourist has long ago gone beyond a simple classic conception of a trip abroad. Globetrotters of today are so demanding that travel agencies will soon run out of clients to whom to offer a standard set of historic places and souvenir shops because demand is increasing for emotions instead of traditional sightseeing tours.
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.
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
In a local history museum in every country you visit, you will certainly notice similar archaeological finds - fragments of clay products. Pottery, born millennia ago, but “living” even today, can rightfully be considered one of the most tenacious one. The uniqueness of clay was noticed by our distant ancestors who lived in caves ...
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips. The word kabuki is sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing". Why not an operetta? The essence of performance is not confined to musical presentation only...