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 Oh, Sun: “Mauritania (Oh, Sun) 1 – Singapore (Earth) 0”
If you are voting for Earth: “Mauritania (Oh, Sun) 0 – Singapore (Earth) 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 Tuesday, September 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.
Mauritania (Oh, Sun) 0 – Singapore (Earth) 1
“Earth” is a wonderful painting in motion, one of my favorite recent short films.
Earth was hypnotic, with a compelling sound track that really suited it. We slowly realize that we are in the presence of some eerie man-made or natural disaster, where everyone appears either in shock – or already dead. Great concept film, which I read in a participant’s blog on the net was shot in one day. Impressive stuff!
Oh,Sun reminded me of a film we had earlier in the Cup, also exploring the difficulties of the African experience in France around this same time. I liked the beginning and ending of the film best, when it took an imaginative turn. Telling scene at the beginning when all the African men were apologizing for speaking their own language in the presence fo the priest. Liked how the crosses suddenly became swords, too.
Mauritania (Oh, Sun) 1 – Singapore (Earth) 0
I found Earth too oppressive in its dread-full dark claustrophobic morbidity but when it gradually opened out into a huge breathing shadowy tableau, like some modern day Michelangelo purgatory (though the lighting effects are more Rembrandt), it was astonishing and impressive. So put my overall reaction to my psychological make-up more than the film’s quality.
I liked the way Soleil O confronted racism, imperialism and stereotyping assertively
I watched Soleil O during Kuxa’s Africa Poll and found it very interesting. It has a new wave feel to it and at the same time makes some very good observations on racial discrimination.
I am not sure what Earth was, to be frank. I tried very hard to figure out what the filmmaker was trying to convey but after some time I lost my patience and was eagerly waiting for it to end. It was not even aesthetically pleasing/interesting for me to ignore its content.
One of the most readily observable facets of watching old films is the great changes we observe between then and now. Films are effectively a tool to offer evidence of historical and cultural advancements which occurred between past and present. Racism however doesn’t seem to change. Oh, perhaps populations have shifted due to immigration since Oh, Sun was released in 1967, turning former white European colonial powers into greater mixtures of ethnic fractions, but the power base hasn’t shifted, the economic underclass hasn’t shifted, the cultural biases and racism have only barely shifted, if at all. Med Hondo’s Oh Sun is perhaps more a reminder of what is wrong with our current Capitalist policies than what was wrong in 1967 when this film was created and released. Malcolm X, Che, Patrice Lumumba were current revolutionary martyrs in 1967 when posters of their faces burned as incendiary icons of leaders who condemned colonialism, economic slavery, apartheid racial laws at home and abroad. Theirs was intended as a global revolution to rid Africa of its foreign rulers, bring home independence and equality for black African populations. Sadly, 45 years later, we find that this film O, Sun from Mauritania addressed many of the same problems which still exist with regard to racism and judicial/economic inequality today. A more silent, more headline-friendly racism and stolid class structure still endures for many African blacks in Europe and the United States. Often their parent countries are also corrupted by insidious economic regimes of leadership that are aided and protected by multi-national power bases (governments, military support, the World Bank, the IMF, United Nations), hydra heads of Capitalism’s international methodology—not much different than 1967.
Med Hondo’s film was an elementary primer of racial inequalities, neither hysterical nor overly branded by Socialist or Marxist answers to complex ideological questions. Wisely, the film remained personal, with heartfelt characterizations with whom we sympathized through their degradation and attendant poverty status. In watching this film as a “before” and reading our current headlines as an “after,” racism has grown to include more than just African Black people. There are the Turkish in Germany, Albanians in Greece, Chinese in Europe, Palestinians in the Middle East and Europe, Mexicans and Central Americans in the U.S.A., Pakistanis and African/Caribbean Black populations in Britain, tribal Tibetans in China. Robert Liensol the actor who portrayed the educated man from Mauritania who had immigrated to France for economic and professional possibilities is no longer simply an example of a Black African facing systemic injustice, but viewing the film in 2012 he now represents a world of disenfranchised labor and citizens facing many, many problems in our new world. Sorry, but I saw that damn soap box and just had to jump on it. It does however show a certain immediacy in the drama and subject matter which Med Hondo’s work still embodies. This film is a rare and intelligent provocation showing insight and a certain prognostication into our present social ills—and should be valued as such.
Oh Sun is a wonderful film and I would agree with all the points Brother Deacon makes about the film.
Earth was interesting but failed on a emotive level. An exercise in how to make visually good looking film.
VOTING IS CLOSED
Mauritania (Oh, Sun) – 4
Singapore (Earth) – 2
The winner is:
Honor, Fraternity, Justice!!
Be a helper for God, and censure what is forbidden, And turn with the law which, which He wants you to follow, Hold no one to be useful or harmful, except for Him, And walk the path of the chosen one, and die while you are on it! For what was sufficient for the first of us, is sufficient for the last one, too. And leave those people who do evil things with respect to God. They misrepresented him by making him similar, and made all kinds of excuses. They made bold claims, and blackened notebooks. They let the nomads and the sedentary people, both make bitter experiences, And the great sins of their [doctrinal] innovations bequeathed small. And just in case a disputant, calls you to dispute about their claims, Do not, then, dispute on them, except by way of an external dispute.
OK, we have to have some comments on that national anthem!
I think we’ve completely lost all women participants in the voting lately. How come? If there’s a problem can it be solved? I miss them dames, and the gender perspective of 3 1/2 Billion people. Any ideas anyone?