World views find a home at VIFF

Category: Shadow Company News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 4, 2006 | Publication: 24 HOURS | Author: VOLKMAR RICHTER
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Change in China, soldiers for hire, Muslims vs the United States. They're all modern issues explored in new offerings today at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The Post Modern Life of My Aunt is an amiable and touching film set in Shanghai. Sixty-something Mrs. Ye lives there with her Mao-era ideals, while the city grows and speeds up around her. People take advantage of her, including a charming con man, played by megastar Chow Yun-fat.

The conflict between the old and the new is comic, then painful, and still the film ends on an up note. Based on a popular novel, it also plays tomorrow.

The Shadow Company is a fascinating documentary about mercenaries. Ever since the Berlin Wall fell, there's been a surplus of soldiers available for work. Some 20,000 are drawing their pay in Iraq.

This B.C.-made film explores the effect and the morality of these private armies. Contractors and former fighters explain themselves, while analysts ponder the ethical and strategic questions. Talky but worth seeing, today or next Monday.

American Zeitgeist, Crisis and Conscience in an Age of Terror is also talky but like a good magazine article it pulls together so much, you won't stop listening.

It traces the growing anti-American feelings in the Muslim world back to the war in Afghanistan 20 years ago. That stirred up a young Osama bin Laden. The first Gulf War made him really angry and we know what happened since then.

The film is more complete than others in charting all the mistakes made and concludes with an amazingly pessimistic look into the future. An excellent overview. Today, Friday and next week.

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