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Review: The Flute and the Arrow

Caught a screening of The Flute and the Arrow at Metrograph. I’d never heard of it before, but it’s old and foreign, which always piques my interest, and I wanted to support the venue, since the niche cinema market seems to be rapidly shrinking.

It was an… interesting and unique experience: a humanist parable in the guise of an ethnographic study chronicling a small tribe’s struggle to survive in the predator-infested jungles of India (sadly, I don’t know enough about the depicted culture to say whether it’s treated as respectfully as director Arne Sucksdorff claims in the opening narration). I find it somewhat dishonest that such an obviously staged story utilizes the visual language of documentaries (especially when it’s elegantly structured enough to stand on its own merits as a work of fiction), but it is nevertheless beautifully told, and the gorgeous cinematography, editing, and music make it worth at least a single viewing, if only to appreciate its aesthetic value.

[Originally written January 13, 2018.]

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