Friday, November 07, 2014

The art of deciding by Rahal Eks

Painted black - too bad - time for you to imagine your own visuals here for a change!

"Yes and no!" But this ain't Ibn 'Arabi replying to Ibn Rushd's famous question in lovely Cordoba during the wonderful times of Al-Andalus. Instead it is just me in rough and rather surreal 2014 with a slightly unorthodox film review. And at the same time it is something else, aimed to be ambiguous, hopefully multi-layered, and with some luck breaking your preconceptions. Yes, I do like that. And no, I don't do it just for the sake to annoy. As a matter of fact, I'm coming from a very different corner. So try and catch my drift and decide for yourself. 

I had lunch with a dear Turkish friend who turned me on to the film in question. And instead of going through my current long what-to-do-list and be a good boy, I decided to blow my schedule after my holy siesta and spontaneously go to the cinema and check out the documentary thriller in question. 

At the end of an unexpected sunny Friday it turned out to be a very good decision. The film's impact makes you think and wonder. 

Yes, there is a worldwide problem with terrorism, extremism and fanaticism which needs to be addressed, dealt with and hopefully soon be transformed - and no, we definitely should not agree to say adios to privacy, civil rights and liberty. When everyone per se and at large is becoming a suspect and falls into automatic surveillance programs then there is something wrong and not just in the State of Denmark, as the saying goes. 

Technically I liked the editing, the camera work was not always truly enchanting (of course that's a matter of taste and I have a very peculiar idea on visual matters of presentation). So much about form. The content leaves you breathless. CITIZENFOUR is a well-made docu-thriller by the filmmaker Laura Poitras. The film is about Edward Snowden who contacted Laura via encrypted e-mails signed "citizen four". Later Laura and the journalist Glenn Greenwald fly to Hong Kong to meet the whistle-blower in person. This documentary is a successful cinematographic piece of journalism in action, and courageous at that! Not just because of Ed's decision to blow the whistle and come out of the surveillance closet but due to all people involved and their decision to collaborate. 

How would you decide when the rights of democracy are at stake? How would you decide when there is on the other hand a serious threat by extremists? Where is the limit? Are all legal boundaries now gone with the wind? 

Currently our world is being extremely polarized - all sorts of phobias are spreading, so his hatred, hysteria and fear on multiple fronts. 

So what's my solution? Actually I don't have one other than trying to be focused in the now, keeping my Sufi dhikr going, and aiming to remain positive and not allowing negativity to creep in under my skin. Hopefully with the result of impacting in some form or another in a slightly positive way if I can. 

Yes, I'm concerned. 

But no, I'm not indulging in negativity or allowing for fear to overwhelm all facets of reality. 

It is time for all of us to make some decisions, isn't it?

Below a link to the official trailer of CITIZENFOUR - check it out and decide for yourself...