Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014 Diary - Day 1

Last night saw the opening of the eighth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Whilst I didn't go to see the opening film, From A to B, I did make a plan to drive back and forth with a friend over the coming week to watch as many films as we can.

I will post short updates over the next few days, sharing which films I watched and what I thought of them.

Here's what I watched today:

The Color of Pomegranates

We are honored to have the restored version of this film screening at this festival. A film full of beautiful visuals and symbolisms about Armenian poet Sayat Nova. So many scenes looked like beautifully composed images that could be framed on a wall. Visual poetry. 

The Salt of the Earth

A profound documentary about Sebastião Salgado. This wasn't just about the photographer, but about humanity and life. I've seen Salgado's work in museums and galleries, and some are large prints, but I never imagined I'd them at this scale, i.e. on a large cinema screen.

The film started with this image - this version does it no justice at all - but Salgado describing the thousands of mine workers in it and comparing this scene to what it must have been like when the Pyramids were built, there's no sound of machinary, only murmurs. Goosebumps.

The film had some some soul crushing images and words. A powerful documentary that is now in my list of top 10, maybe even top five favourite documentaries. 

Magical Girl

A subtle, dark and troubling film. Amazing how so much can be said without showing a lot.