This topic is part of the 2012 MUBI World Cup. If you have not already done so, please read the first post at the topic for an introduction to and rules about this year’s World Cup:
The purpose of this topic is to cast votes in the matchup listed above and also to be a forum for discussing the films in the match.
Anyone who has seen both of the films listed above may vote in this match. You must vote for whichever of the two films you personally like better. In order to vote you must post a reply to this topic containing one of the following sequences:
If you are voting for Africa, I Will Fleece You: “Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) 1 – South Korea (A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara) 0”
If you are voting for A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara: “Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) 0 – South Korea (A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara) 1”
Your vote must contain the names of both films with a “one” after the film you are voting for and a “zero” after the other film. If your vote is not formatted in this way it will not be counted.
Along with your vote you are strongly encouraged to leave additional comments regarding your reactions to the films, your reasons for why you voted the way you did, and responses to other participants’ comments. Being able to have deep discussion about the films and different aspects of them is an important part of finding enjoyment in participating in the World Cup.
This match will end on Wednesday, April 18 at 10:00 PM GMT. No votes attempted to be cast after that time will be counted. Shortly after the match ends the votes will be tallied and a winner of the match will be declared. If the films both receive the same number of votes, the match will be considered a tie.
The percentage of votes each film receives in a match will have an effect on whether or not the corresponding country will participate in the final round of the World Cup. Thus even if the film you vote for loses in this match, your vote will still be important.
The results of the matches as well as the schedule for future matches can be found here:
If you would like to participate but are unable to find sources to watch these films, please send me a personal message so that I can invite you to the private website featuring internet links to view the films.
Now are we allowed to vote on a match in which we have submitted one of the films?
Yes, you can vote Blue
Woohoo, second match I’m voting on!
Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) 0 – South Korea (A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara) 1
Africa, I Will Fleece You is a very informative film that induces heartbreak. It is a good film, but I really can’t say that there’s really anything outstanding about it except for its subject matter. It is still a great choice for the World Cup as it exposes an issue that we in the West are too unaware of.
Mandara, on the other hand, is easily Im Kwon-taek’s best film in a wildly uneven career that consists of more than 100 feature films. The film epitomizes the best of Im’s filmmaking—at best Im’s films are earthy, accessible, moving, and thought provoking. The film takes the immensely difficult subject of Korea’s unique brand of Mahayana Buddhism and makes it accessible by presenting two extremes as embodied by two very different monks. It is without a doubt one of the great films about Buddhism and arguably the best Korean film on Buddhism, which is saying something because Korea probably has produced the greatest number of films on Buddhism.
Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) 1 – South Korea (A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara) 0
Of Korean Buddhist films, i slightly prefer Why did Bodhi-Dharma Leave for the East. I’d waited for years to see Mandara- it’s a fine film but didn’t quite live up to my extremely high expectations, so i give my vote to Cameroon, as i think it makes its points very effectively on important issues that should be addressed more often by cinema.
after missing the last two matches (something i will never forgive myself about) i am happy to say that this match opened me up to two great films, but i have to agree with Blue, while Africa, I Will Fleece You was a good film, there really was nothing that stuck with me. It WAS sad. It DOES expose the West to important cultural heartbreak in Africa, but my vote is:
Africa I Will Fleece You : I recently watched the Indonesian film Mother Dao and was reminded of how similar it was to Africa I will Fleece You. I thought the latter was more superior in terms of the way it goes about showing the colonization of Africa although to be frank, I don’t remember too much else from the film except the fact that it had impressed me when I had watched it.
A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara : I happened to watch Bodhi Dharma a few days before I watched this. Although I liked this film better than Bodhi, I wasn’t terribly impressed. Can’t seem to pinpoint a reason but the film’s purpose remained a bit unclear to me and didn’t affect me that much due its drama that seemed to cheapen whatever it was trying to convey.
Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) 0 — South Korea (A Budddhist Ascetic Mandara) 1
Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) – (0) vs. South Korea (A Budddhist Ascetic Mandara) – (1)
Africa I Will Fleece You – A very important issue even now. It has also however shown that the documentary, while incredibly important, is the one area of cinema that can easily collapse if any areas of its production are compromised. The film’s message is strong but the structure of the film is both far from great and actually undermines how far the content could have gone further, especially in how it could have immediately started with the central topic, of how very little Cambodian literature was available in the country’s libraries, and used it as a stronger springpoint to the history of colonialism it leads to.
A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara – Another film dealing with religious and philosophical ideals that immediately grabbed me as a viewer but since the subject is Buddhism, very different ideas as well as universal ones, particularly the emphasis on enlightenment from the continuous circle of reincarnation and the body, become central to it. I am barely studied in Buddhism to attempt a deeper reading, but I can say Im Kwon-taek uses the film to its fullest to present a issue both important in the religion and for anyone regardless of their spiritual beliefs who ponders the same ideas expressed by the two monks in the centre of the story.
On a slightly more glib, but curious note, its strangely delightful that a South Korea film on such a serious subject shares a similar colour and lighting palette to the Hong Kong genre films of the time, especially the Heroic Bloodshed genre of all things, despite being so radically different in what they are about and were made for. Cinema from the 1980s is such a different medium, visually especially, from the films made before and now, and a film like this – from long before the surge of interest in Korean cinema after the millennium and in ways far superior than some of the entries that were held up – perfectly shows this .
I was expecting more of a turnout on this match. People had previously seemed pretty excited about it. I was sad I had to miss it.
VOTING IS CLOSED
Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You) – 4
South Korea (A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara) – 6
The winner is:
Benefit broadly the human world!
Roses of Sharon and Three thousand Li
of splendid rivers and mountains full;
Great Korean people, To the Great Korean way
stay always true!