For an introduction to Thankful for World Cinema please go here.
The Green Wave (2010)
I have previously written about the events in Iran in 2009 as one documentary I had previously covered very nearly backed into those momentous events by accident. However, here with The Green Wave those events are the focal point and there are very creative things done by the filmmakers to try, as best as they possibly can, to recreate those events.
With any world events that can be described as historic, more so with those that can be considered to be movements, it’s a nearly insurmountable task to attempt to capture the totality of what occurred and how in one film. Yet, even with such a potentially massive scope this film does well in another way: it limits its scope some by mostly focusing on writings posted in blogs and on other forms of social media.
To be able to render what occurred in said writing on film there are some very well done and artistic animated scenes created. Yet there is quite a lot of video, including clips concerning the brutality regular citizens faced at the hands of the military and police. Therefore, some viewer discretion is advised as some of the images are quite disturbing.
There are also interview subjects that fill in the gaps. The time period is also limited some. The narrative of the documentary starts just before the later-contested elections and carry on through the end of the year.
As daunting a task as it is to try and capture all of that information this film does extremely well in disseminating the basics from the political climate in general, to a populous awoken, the voter suppression and fraud, the outcry, the backlash, the final straw and the activation of the nation-at-large.
Yet, perhaps the most valuable piece of the film is that its the first actual testament, which leans heavily on first-hand Internet accounts that shows the power of social media as a keeper of history as events occur. As with anything there many methods of usage that fall short of the “highest and best” use, but here unleashed before all who watch this film is the undeniable proof of one of its most powerful implementations.
The perspective of the film is also one that is very fair. It focuses mainly on the how and why and speaks to only citizens and ex-pats allowing them another outlet to speak about their country and what occurred there. This is a truly moving piece of filmmaking that offers a glimpse into one of the most important sociopolitical movements in the world in recent years. It’s the kind of watchful, necessary eye I’d like to see turned on the protests in Brazil where the internet is also a tool that has chronicle to overreaching abuses, and excessive force used by military police against protesters.