Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Lion Standing in the Wind, Takashi Miike, 2015

Probably just about as good as a film about a "driven" japanese doctor curing child soldiers in Kenya can be. Especially the repeated use of carefully calibrated long shots is astonishing and shows the director at his classicist best. Most of the scenes set in Japan are really, really beautiful, too.

The scenes set in Africa are clearly the main focus, though. Miike thankfully stays clear of most of the worst klischees and especially of anything remotely related to "political analysis", but still... the Africa plot just isn't redeemable in the way it reduces the African child actors to (equally carefully calibrated) instruments of the protagonist's quest of self-discovery.

When in the end Miike opens up his based-on-a-true-story-narrative towards an both all-embracing and completely crackpot cosmology of caring (supported by a wonderful pop tune of naive, idealist optimism), one almost hat to succumb to what clearly is great melodramatic filmmaking. Almost. Because the only possible real rescue for THE LION STANDING IN THE WIND would have been to just not make the film at all.

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