Saturday 6 June 2015

Sydney Film Festival (9) - Riz (Guido Gonzalez & S Shakthidharan, Australia, 2015)

Reviewing this film after an SFF screening down in the bowels of the Dendy Opera Quays makes for a little queasiness. The earnestness of the exercise and the sheer joy and pleasure its making gave to those involved causes a little caution. Its heart is so determinedly in the right place, its humanity so much on show, its sense of trying to show a way forward to a backward place, that it feels curmudgeonly to mention that these dont necessarily turn into something of value. The movie seems more like educational training, even therapy, for those who had the pleasure to be there just doing it - writing and saying the lines, setting up the scenes, assembling the images. The very happy group who gathered around for its premiere were obviously well-satisfied. The dream lives on and more movies will be made. The innocence on show in Riz, set as it is in pre-9/11 times when Muslims weren't terrorists though boat people were already despised, will one assumes give way to something stronger, more bitter and likely more confrontational as the group tracks on into the 21st century. I look forward to that and maybe to the whole Balzacian schema ambitiously laid out in the euphoria of a premiere where everyone present clapped and cheered like mad.

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