Wednesday, September 07, 2005


i am still feeling rather empty and hollow at the end of ‘elephant’. gus van sants’ film based on the columbine massacre of the 1990’s when two american school kids took ammunition and machine guns into the school and shot their classmates, teachers, indiscriminately and randomly. long tracking shots introduce us to the characters walking down the corridors, the intersecting lines of their lives that meet and part at random, sentences remembered repeat and ring in spirals- no judgment, no cause and effect for the act is ever made explicit as we become participants and observers in the everydayness of the day and the inexplicable violence of the act.

the urge to explain the act is defeated whenever we begin to speak. we are like the blind men in the story where we try to describe an elephant by each touching a different part; never getting it right. was it sex? a culture of violence and easily available guns, the dynamics of high school nerd/stud relationships? the explanation is missing. Thankfully, this is not rhetoric the way michael moores ‘bowling for columbine’ was . it is a meditation. a hypnotic fluid meditation on a particular culture.

mukul said that after the film you feel like you do after you wake up in the middle of a bad dream. disturbed and with a sense of loss.

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