Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: Kes (1969)

Film: Kes (175/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Oh man. This one gutted me. I knew absolutely nothing about it going in, but from the very beginning it's clear that the world doesn't think very much of our protagonist, fifteen-year-old Billy. Everyone in his life bullies him, ignores him, treats him like a criminal. He lives in a hard and cruel world, with nothing going for him, and nothing to look forward to...until he discovers a kestrel's nest and begins to take an interest in falconry. Such a fragile ray of light in this boy's life, but a ray of light nonetheless. This film feels very natural, the actors don't seem to be acting and use heavy accents and slang (subtitles are a must), and the world feels very lived-in. It's a very immersive experience, and I was left wondering about what might have happened after this film ended...what happened to these characters? Would nothing happen, every day like the next, until they grow old and die? A bleak thought, but a reality for so many people. Yet another example of the countless times cinema allows us to step inside someone else's tattered shoes. 

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