In My Country

2004

Drama / Romance

125
IMDb Rating 6 10 2,489

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 4, 2020

Director

Cast

Brendan Gleeson as Col. de Jager
Juliette Binoche as Anne Laurent
Nick Boraine as Jack Marlon
Samuel L. Jackson as Col. Ron
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
946.23 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.9 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by beatnik02 10 / 10 / 10

Misjudged story of tenderness

COUNTRY OF MY SKULL aka IN MY COUNTRY is no masterpiece thats for sure, but it has been unfairly slaughtered by critics who were expecting something else entirely. The film is set against the real life "Truth and Reconcilliation Commission" set up in South Africa after apartheid in order to begin the process of healing the wounds of a divided nation. However this commission is not the subject of the film, it is the setting. The main drama of the film emanates from the love/hate relationship between journalists Langston Whitfield (Samuel L.Jackson) and Anna Malan (Juliette Binoche). Whitfield, a Washington Post journalist, is sent to South Africa to cover the hearings. He meets local journalist Anna Malan who is covering the hearings for radio. She trusts the commission entirely and believes forgiveness is the only way forward for her country. Whitfield however places no trust in a system that does not punish. The pair immediately clash and begin a battle of wills. however soon the enormity of the evidence they hear draws them together into an affair. Boorman is not interested in exploring the TRC as a system or it's successes and failures. Instead he is more interested in its impact on his two vastly different protagonists, who must confront issues of race and gender in their own relationship as much as in their work. This is the films strength and weakness. It is beautifully intimate yet is set in a time of great social upheaval which is all but ignored. The other major problem is that much of the early dialogue sets out to explain the political and social setting rather than define the characters. This leads to somewhat inane characterisation. With Binoche however Boorman has struck it lucky. Her hard work is evident and although her character is poorly drawn the actresses understanding of emotion allows us to read much into her performance. Even her Afrikaans accent is passable. She displays an incredible tenderness throughout the film. Jackson however does not fair as well, giving a sullen and almost lethargic performance. To call COUNTRY OF MY SKULL an utter failure as has been suggested by some critics is unfair. With his female protagonist and interesting setting Boorman's sincerity is beyond question and for that alone he deserves praise.

Reviewed by cosmiclightbeing 3 / 10 / 10

magnificent multi-layering

I thought this movie did very well in exploring many different relationships and story lines. Above all, this movie asked all of the hard questions and brought into light a lot of truth that a lot of people don't like to look at. The African sense of justice is about reconciliation, not revenge. By using the testimonials of several individuals, this movie was very educational. The healing that was allowed to happen within the process of reconciliation was very inspirational. Their sophisticated system made a lot of sense to me, and seems much more advanced than systems employed where i live in the US. The relationship between Langston and Anna brought a political story to a personal level. It was beautiful to see Anna come to terms with her own sense of responsibility, being a white south African who had known of the atrocities, but had done nothing to stop them. Langston forced her to examine her position, but was also there to support her when she felt crushed by the enormity. Their acting was very convincing and skillful. I especially loved the scene where Anna attacked Langston, but thought the actual sex scene could have been more believable. One character I haven't seen anyone comment on is Anna'a assistant, Dumi. This character brought the story to yet another level. He was the classic joker with hidden depths. His character communicated to the audience that nothing is black or white; nothing is simple; really it's all endlessly complex. In fact, this story was anything but one-sided. It showed many masks that individuals wear in specific situations. It communicated so much about humanity, both as individuals and as members of a larger society. I find it quite relevant to my experience as a white American who knows my government is responsible for the suffering of multitudes at this moment in time, and I feel responsible and helpless at the same time. A man who sat behind me in the theater kept telling his girlfriend he wanted to leave because it was unpleasant. Yes, it is unpleasant, if you're the type of person who doesn't like to look at reality. But what I cam away with from the movie was a feeling of awe about humanity's capacity for compassion.

Reviewed by SingleSimonSays 3 / 10 / 10

Political drama goes romantic

Country of My Skull had its world premiere at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. One of the most eagerly awaited films of the year, coming from veteran director John Boorman, has turned out to be a major disappointment. In retrospect it is not hard to see why, it should have been predicted, but the fascinating subject matter made it seem like Boorman was going to give us that rare treat - a balanced political drama, with insight and intelligence. The problems with Country of My Skull all originate with the screenplay. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Antjie Krog. However Krog's novel was a non-fiction account of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up in the aftermath of Apartheid. The screenplay by Ann Peacock is a mere fiction where a lacklustre romance takes precedence over the main events. Samuel L Jackson stars as Langston Whitfield a New York Times journalist who has been sent to South Africa to write a feature on the TRC. Here he meets Afrikaans poet and Journalist Anna Malan played by Juliette Binoche. At first the pair clash over their very different attitudes but as the real life accounts of torture and suffering inflicted during the Apartheid regime are recounted their attitudes towards each other soften and they fall in love even though both are married. This is my biggest issue with the film. Peacock and Boorman for some utterly unknown reason have seen fit to invent a romance between the protagonists. This fictional romance muddles the intent of the film and belittles the very serious nature of a body such as the Truth and Reconciliation commission. I also have problems with the use of the American journalist. While he is obviously used in the screenplay as an outsider to explain the aim of the TRC to us, the uninitiated viewers, his reaction to what he is hearing is hard to credit. Malan and Whitfield spend the first part of the film literally sparring over every aspect of the TRC. To him, any commission that doesn?t punish the perpetrators of such crimes is worthless, while for her reconciliation is more important. She is horrified by what she hears about a country she is passionate about. This should make for very interesting drama. However the dialogue between the pair is utterly ridiculous and often sounds more like two politically correct politicians than supposedly intelligent journalists. It is idealistic, unnatural and even risible. As part of his assignment Whitfield tracks down the Apartheid police chief De Jaeger played by Brendan Gleeson. Whitfield conducts a series of interviews with this man, which are meant to illustrate the pure evil of the Apartheid regime, however the character as written by Peacock and played by Gleeson is more like an out and out Nazi baddie than a credible perpetrator of such crimes. Boorman has spiced these interviews throughout the film. They are distracting and somewhat simplistic. All too often the film takes pedestrian material and adorns it with simplistic political motives. The use of a flat tyre and a local bar give Malan and Whitfield a chance to spend time together and soften towards each other as they embark on an affair which becomes the centre of the film. It is hard to credit that this would happen. Why Boorman and Peacock have done this is beyond me. The type of audience that would see this movie surely does not need romance to actually enjoy a film. The only place the film scores any kudos is in the courtrooms of the TRC where horrifying evidence is recounted to a nation. However as the other parts of the film are so weak it is easy to be cynical about these sequences as they seem over manipulative and again badly written dialogue is a major stumbling point. Their content is however undeniably powerful. Jackson and Binoche, fine actors when given the correct material, struggle with unforgiving roles. Both characters are under-written and remote. Jackson?s change of heart about events is hard to credit. Binoche struggles with an Afrikaans accent (sometimes doing surprisingly well for someone who is not a native English speaker). However her character is not well defined and is constantly laden down with the worst dialogue. Certainly Boorman and Peacock?s intentions were genuine, but the screenplay should have focused entirely on the TRC, allowing the drama to emanate from that. Instead we are given a rather insipid love story that reduces the impact considerably. In doing this Boorman has failed to use his excellent cast to anything like their full potential and has undermined the whole project. A lot more work on the screenplay and this had the makings of a wonderful film.

Read more IMDb reviews

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment