It must be a perfect moment to have a post about The Girl In The Cafe on tour, seeing as another important G8 meeting is held in Japan as we speak.
Now just in case you don’t remember what it was all about, here is a message from your Uncle Bill, as he can explain it much better than I can.
And let’s face it, he is also much groovier than I am.
Bill has also written a post on the Oxfam International blog about his experiences in Japan.
And more on OXFAM.
OK so now you are up to date. The Girl in the Cafe, the film, is about the same things. And my DVD of this great film has been travelling for quite a while now to far away places (as you can see on the world map)
The DVD has visited 69 people around the world, and new participants are signing up regularly, with Greece, Singapore and Wales being new destinations.
And there are new reviews from a couple of people who participated.
Timo in Finland writes the following :
It would be easy to blame the movie for oversimplifying the serious issue of extreme poverty; the film states that the choice to do so is down to 8 men – the leaders of the 8 wealthiest world nations. However, the major point in this film is that hiding behind the web of excuses and standard, inflexible processes is simply not enough. I am keen to agree on this; by cutting through the red tape it is possible to achieve more than going by the routine, accepting defeat and inefficiency. A better life may not be as simple to achieve as the film portrays, but it isn’t as impossible as we are led to believe, either.
While agreeing with the issue raised in The Girl in the Cafe, I also enjoyed it as a film. The characters and dialogue were interesting and perfectly executed by the talented cast; especially Bill Nighy gives a great performance. The atmosphere in the movie can certainly perceived as cold by some, but personally I found it expressive and realistic, not entirely unlike the style of Finland’s beloved Aki Kaurismäki.
The Girl in the Cafe – by Ava (Austria)
When I say I like a movie, it’s because of writing and acting. But in “girl” the subject matter pushed me over the edge. I care passionately about this movie.
Hooray for idealists, you say? But then if you can’t find hope around you, there will be no better tomorrow.
Nighy’s performance separates this movie from the pack. He has the gait, the twitches down so convincingly. Even the way he hovers over his mistakes. Most of all he’s found a special relationship with Lawrence’s body, the way he walks on the insides of his feet, his reluctance to make eye contract, how he picks at his suits.
Macdonald also wins me over – she represents the authentic part of Lawrence. No excuses, just the painfully plain soul of doing the right thing. How embarrassed and vulnerable she looks when someone admonishes her for her strong opinions, as if her past disappointments all caught up with her in that second.
I admire Stott’s skillful characterization of the Chancellor, personable humane and somewhat adorable when challenged to the edge of cliff.
I’m certain simplifications and stick-figuring occur, after all the work’s focus is on the commonness between 2 rather insignificant people and how the ends of earth can benefit from anyone in a megapolis.
Someone told me a disparaging adjective about diplomats, which prevented me from joining the profession. Later I realized everything, everybody has 2 parts, even mausoleum-like behemoths, when there is human motivation behind a certain plan, then, even they can score a home-run goal.
Each time I see UN in the news, I question its efficiency, efficacy, effectiveness. Yesterday, Secretary-General Moon succeeds in getting Myanmar to let in ALL aid workers. For me, that fact, like “girl”, has given me a sunrise of hope.
Michelle in the US writes:
What are the odds that Lawrence, the face of world power structures, meets Gina, the voice of the world community, in a Cafe and finds himself at a table with her? This meeting in the cafe represents the important day the serendipitous encounter of hunger and its relief meet, make a connection, and put all their energies together in order make the world right again the way Gina and Lawrence fight for their love. Amazing movie that really puts life into perspective for a student of politics and anyone who uses reason and theory too much when thinking about the lives of millions of his/her fellow human beings.
So what’s next, then. Well another stop in the US and Belgium are next, and more destinations will hopefully follow. You can follow here on the world map here.
And can I just say a big THANK YOU to all those friendly people out there who have taken good care of the Girl for a few days, and who have taken time to write a bit about her before sending her off to the next person. Without you this worldwide project would never be possible.
Love can’t change
what’s wrong in the world
But it’s a start