Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Iordanova on Maradona by Kusturica

Dina Iordanova recommends Maradona by Kusturica, a film that received mostly negative notices at Cannes. Many critics derided Serbian director Emir Kusturica’s analysis of Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona as egomanical and self-indulgent, but Iordanova situates the film in Kusturica’s oeuvre and emphasizes the film’s political content:

At the Cannes press conference on the film Maradona said that ‘we are not all obliged to think as the Americans do’ and pointed out that people living in different countries are entitled to interpret international politics from the point of view of where they stand in the world. It is precisely the combination of this conviction (the right to differ and speak up) and the high visibility of Maradona (and of Kusturica himself) that the director uses to turn the film into a political documentary that accommodates dissenting views that need to be aired. …

Equally important is the fact that [Kusturica and Maradona] both belong to peripheral nations that see themselves as having been wronged by America and Britain and that they are both prepared to use their celebrity to bring into the public space a piece of political commentary that is alive but confined to subterranean popular discourse and, if not brought to light by figures of their degree of visibility, would remain fully shut out.

Hopefully someone brings Kusturica’s work to the U.S., at least in DVD form.

Incidentally, Iordanova’s blog is a great source for information on Eastern European cinema, which, unless it’s Romanian or directed by Aleksander Sokurov, might as well not exist to most of the American film media.

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