Saturday, November 18, 2006

Babel--A Thought Provoking Film Mired in an Emotional soliloquy

A thought provoking reality film which on the surface of things appeared to have an ad-hoc plot, without any clear-cut goal; the film center, or rather centers were rural Morocco, technologically affluent Tokyo, and the wild-wild west along the U.S.-Mexico Border, south of San Deigo, California.

The film appeared to be a sort of emotional soliloquy, intermingled with disjointed inter-character discourse. Emotions ran awry, at times leaving the audience dazzled and perplexed; wondering what to make of the abrupt and disjointed scene changes. From Morocco to San Diego to Tokyo we are taken on a journey of the human state.

This was indeed an accurate depiction of the present state of affairs in the world today. How an incident such a couple kids playing with their fathers rifle in remote Morocco could turn into an International crisis.

An American tourist being shot by a stray bullet is no trivial situation, it would surely as the movie depicted involve government involvement at the highest level. With next to no first hand knowledge of the incident, the International press are shown to be having a field day concocting theory after theory on what they believed had transpired. As a result pushing the local Moroccan authorities to act fast and brutally to diffuse the relatively volatile situation that appeared to be brewing under the hot dessert sun.

One could argue that the film was a depiction of the 6-degree networking theory, where essentially it was the rifle which resulted in the whirlwind of events. With a Japanese hunter who presented his rifle as a gift to his Moroccan guide, who in turn sold it to a friend, who handed it over to his sons to shoot wild Jackal in the Mountains, to ensure the safety of their goats.

Towards the end of the film, the Japanese hunter made a remark to a cop in Tokyo that his wife didn't jump off the balcony but instead shot herself. Which makes one wonder, was it with this same rifle before his trip to Morocco? Perhaps one of the reasons he gifted the rifle to his Moroccan guide in the first place was to distance himself from the very item that reminded him of his wife's suicide?

In essence had the Japanese hunter not gifted the rifle to his guide, events wouldn't have transpired as they did in the film. The American tourist wouldn't have been hit by the stray bullet, the husband and wife couple wouldn't have rekindled their love and marriage, the Mexican Nanny wouldn't have been deported, instead whould made her journey to Mexico to attend her sons wedding and safely return without alerting the border petrol of her illegal status.

There is nothing such as an isolated event. According to the film every action is surely to have an equal and opposite reaction. Which in Physics is refered to as Newton's Third Law of Motion. As the world grows smaller with the advancement in technology, the effects of this law become more pronounced.

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

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