Sunday, 2 August 2015

FAR FROM MEN (2014)

Algeria, 1954. Two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder. --IMDB

A profound, meditative French "Western" that is surprisingly contemporary in its themes of relating to those who are different to us. Viggo Mortensen is brilliant as Daru and well supported by Reta Kateb, who plays Mohamed, the Arab accused of murder and who Daru is burdened to transport to a trial to be held on the other side of the Atlas mountains. There isn't much dialogue but an incredible amount is conveyed through the actions and behaviours of the characters. The location of the events plays a dominant role in providing tension and, in many ways, strips away all distraction so that the relationship between the two men remains the focus. The title of the movie, FAR FROM MEN, describes the isolation of the events and the fact that the two men are outside of the usual reach of the law and must struggle with moral questions as their journey unfolds. The movie is based on an Albert Camus novel so the philosophical background to the story is existentialist, revealing the nature of character by the actions that occur in the present moment. A gem of a movie which, unfortunately, is in limited release - so you might need to look around for it. But it is worth the effort.


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