“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blood Diamond

Went to see Blood Diamond on Sunday at the cinema across the street. It only just opened here (very impressively recent for Myanmar) and of course the tickets were all sold out to scalpers. This was quite amusing from my perspective, but I guess it shows what dire straits this place is in. The most expensive ticket is normally about .90c (1000 Kyat)(getting cheaper from there), but the ticket scalper was asking about $1.60 (2000 Kyat). We agreed on 1500 Kyat for the best seat in the house.

It's an insanely cheap price for a movie, but keep in mind, the theater ends up being pathed in shells from nuts and trash, and people talk throughout the film. There are no subtitles (the movie the same as it's original release) so no one really understands. It's quite a family event, so I avoid Saturday nights because the kids really can't contain their excited chatter. If you hate people talking in the movie, you'd loath it here. The absolute worst, though, is the beetel spit. Everyone here has the ugliest brown teeth, and the sidewalks are lined with little red spit holes/streaks/puddles. The certainly don't abstain from spitting wherever they please, and that includes inside the carpeted theater. Woe behold the poor soul who angles their bag/foot/skirt the wrong way!

It is a very good film, with a lot of harsh realities in it along with the typical adventure/westerner storyline to hook the US fans. One of my American colleagues here said it was just another African war flick, but I disagree. So much of it was based on truth, and Sierra Leone really doesn't get that much coverage. The African lead was just a little too beefed up muscly to be real, but Leonardo DiCaprio redeemed himself in a role that finally fits him, though his South African accent slips a bit.

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