August 27, 2014

War Story (2014)

War Story (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Mark Jackson
Country: USA

Movie Review: I really don’t know what American filmmaker Mark Jackson was thinking when he wrote, conjointly with Kristin Gore, his sophomore feature film “War Story”, a depressing drama executed in stodgy tones that drags itself along 90 minutes. The story follows Lee (Catherine Keener), a war-traumatized American photojournalist who returns to Sicily and tries to help Hafsia (Hafsia Herzi), a young refugee woman she had met in Libya in frightful circumstances. The latter is pregnant and desperately wants an abortion, so many times refused by the Italian medical services. She also intends to leave for France where she thinks she will have better opportunities. At the same time, Lee also contacts her former lover and mentor, Albert (Ben Kingsley). The beginning still sparked some curiosity, when I was trying to figure out Lee’s inconclusive behaviors. Was she sick? Was she a voyeur? What was she doing in Italy and how wrecked her life was? But this search only lasted 15 minutes, since my patience faded away with the slow cadence and excessive meditative atmosphere. The story somberly presents us racial prejudices, infinite sadness, and the misery of two persons who are trying to start again and gain confidence to go on. Mark Jackson’s directorial choices were questionable, like when he opted for a distant long shot of a conversation between Lee and Albert, which after a while becomes boring. In a film where I never cared about the fate of its characters, only Keener’s performance was noteworthy.

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