Black field/ Mavro livadi
Director: Vardis Marinakis
Greece, 2009, 104 min
So what exactly would you expect from a Greek film with a topic from 1650´s? Especially if the festival guide describes the film as a story of a runaway soldier who fells in love with a nun and together they escape. I assumed, that i am going to see a nice, slightly easier movie to top up my film marathon.
And it really looked like it – the dramatic Greek nature, a monastery on the top of a steep rock. Nuns living there, praying. Even the choir of their beautiful voices as a backround music. Cuts on a handsome man riding his horse, hair blowing in the wind….Just sit back and relax, dear festival visitor, we will please your eyes and ears….
…the story goes, that a wounded soldier comes to the monastery – or actually fells of his dying horse in front of the monastery. The nuns decide to take care of him. One of the nuns is specially upset about the presence of a man in the monastery. You can guess at this point, that it will be probably the „runaway one“. (She was a bit less prettier and poorly looking than I expected for the main heroine of such a film).
You are surprised, what the nun hides under her pillow – a sharp piece of whatever and she hurts herself!
The shock it isto continue though, when during a private moment, when the nun is washing herself, you see it – she has a penis!
At that moment the director pulls you to his game – is it a man? A women? A gay? Is it a transvestite? Why the hell has this nun a penis?!
You can guess….
In an ordinary movie, they will be in the forests and on the basis of „Blue Lagoon“ they will fall in love at some point. It even seems like something like this is happening, there is this sparkle between the two of them – but the audience is holding breth – they know the secret of the nun.
And soon also the soldier finds out – and he pukes as a reaction. How desperate must have the nun felt! If someone would get this close to me …and react this way…?!
At the end after a series of events the two go on and continue their journey in the forest together. The soldier teaches the nun – or the young boy – how to be a man. The real man, I would say, as shown in this moovie and anticipated by our stereotypes. Yes a man hunts, fights…is rough.
The director touches a strong taboo in us. Ok, we festival viewers are used to see pretty much everything in our films – sex, drugs, death, children…it is difficult to shock us.
But as Vardis Marinakis prooves, it is so possible.
However tolerant we might appear to be, claim to be, o want to be, we still (ok, at least I) didn´t really realize the fact, that there are other sexes out there. That it is not just male, female. There are people somewhere inbetween…or actually aren´t we all somewhere inbetween nd we are just put into strict boxes and whoever dares to croos the border is a total weirdo?
The film at first builds up the image of masculinity and feminity to destroy it at the end. How, I would let dear viewer to find out as i have already spoiled the first surprise for you.
The film shocks you, makes you think, at the same time our eyes are spolied by extraordinarily beautiful camera. The use of light! And a contrast of still pictures and a hand hold shaky camera used exactly to enhance the feelings!
Deffinitely worth seeing