August 26, 2007


From Poland with Love (Susitha R. Fernando, 8/26/07, Sri Lanka Times)

"In the Desert and the Wilderness" (Childrens film) directed by Gavin Hood is another film that is to be screened at the Poland Film Festival. Gavin Hood, a South African born director is a writer, producer and director, best known for winning the Academy Award for Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards for the 2005 film 'Tsotsi'.

He directed his first commercial short film, The Storekeeper, in 1998, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. His first feature film, A Reasonable Man, followed in 1999. Hood then went on to direct the Polish language 2001 feature film 'In Desert and Wilderness' (Wpustyni i w puszczy) when the original director fell ill. This was followed by Tsotsi in 2005.

The film, based on a novel by Polish Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905), tells the story of two children - a 14 years old Polish boy Stas Tarkowski and an eight year old English girl Net Rawilson raped by an Arabian leader Mahdi during their stay with their fathers - engineers in construction work on the Suez Canal in Africa. The fathers organise the chase but it proves extremely difficult due to the war conditions in the continent.

The children, abandoned to their own fate, wander across wild Africa with their black friend- Kali and Mea.

Not only is the movie worthwhile, but there's a good recent translation of the novel by Miroslaw Lipinski.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 26, 2007 4:19 PM
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