Monday, October 1, 2007

Central Station - A Film from Brazil

Last night I watched a great foreign film, titled CENTRAL STATION, or in Portuguese, CENTRAL DO BRASIL. I was totally surprised. Director Walter Salles brings together a hardened, selfish retired teacher and a little boy whose mother has just died in a car accident. The retired teacher is a letter writer at the Central [train] Station in Rio, and gets drawn inexorably out of herself as she tries to decide what to do with the boy. The result is a search for the boy's father that becomes a pilgrimage of its own--almost a spiritual journey for this woman who has given up loving others.
Salles directs a paradoxically gritty and transcendent film; the poverty and shocking depravity of Rio contrast greatly with the simplicity and natural beauty of the poorer rural villages. I can only describe the film's visual style as luminous. The picture is filled with shining Light. Not shining lights, but Light. Salles tells a story of a woman who has never been a mother, but who becomes a Mother in the fullest sacrificial sense.

A beautiful and moving film; put it on your list of things to watch.

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