Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Green Wave, Nuit #1

The Green Wave
Nuit #1

“The Green Wave” combines Twitter and blog postings, still photography, live video and animated reenactments to tell the story of the suppression of the nascent democratic movement in Iran in 2009. Opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s victory at the polls was so decisive that even one of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet secretaries congratulated him. Until, that is, military forces loyal to the regime stormed the election offices, shutting them down and forging ballots to produce a preposterous result: Though observers reported you couldn’t find an Ahmadinejad voter in many precincts, state TV announced he had won with 69% of the vote. That night, the dream of meaningful political freedom in Iran died for a generation. Over subsequent weeks, dozens of protesters and innocent bystanders would be killed and brutally injured in a show of force aimed at forestalling any thought of insurrection. There are some highly powerful stories in “The Green Wave,” but they tend to bleed together. Directors Ali Samadi Ahadi and Ken Jacobs needed to do a better job of contextualizing individual events into a coherent history. Still, it’s better than “Waltz With Bashir.”

Anne Émond’s “Nuit #1” is a boreign film about two ravers in their early thirties – Clara, a third-grade teacher, and Nikolaï, an undiscovered artist – who meet, come home, and fuck, then spend the rest of a long night alternating between vituperative split-ups, ridiculous reunions, and tons of turgid talk. They take turns telling each other about what miserable wretches they are – how life has no meaning, that sort of thing. Both are repulsive to us – and to themselves – on virtually every level. “Nuit #1” lives down to the worst stereotypes of self-important art-house movies. You can’t wait to get away from these awful people and out into the light of day.

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