Monday, 7 March 2011

Aftershock - The Movie - Review

My Weekend movie was "Aftershock", a Chinese movie about the Tangshan earthquake of 1976. This movie received great reviews, and was labelled as one of the greatest disaster movies ever made.

The movie was the first big production IMAX feature to be made outside the US, and depicts the personal story of a young family whose lives are shattered by the quake. The earthquake traps the two young twins under the rubble of their apartment block, both are trapped under one slab, and the mother has to choose which one to rescue. I wont give away the key story here, but she does choose, and the film then carries on to show the effects of this up till the Sichuan earthquake of 2008.

In terms of geography, this movie very nearly had me in tears all the way through. The opening sequence showing the near total destruction of Tangshan was pretty horrifying, it seemed to focus on the variety of ways in which people can die horribly, and the scenes of the recovery effort are both realistic and heart wrenching, and the mother making her choice was enough to have me reaching for the tissues (I have been banned from movie choices for a while as I am depressing everyone else I live with! - Darfur,shooting dogs, oil crash, inconvenient truth - my movie taste does run to the apocalyptic side of things). However, the scenes of how we go about recovery and dealing with mass casualties, getting supplies into an area and why people remain living in very damaging regions of the earth were all good.

Overall, I liked this movie because it was realistic, it was a very human depiction of the chaos that big hazards bring with them, and the long lasting effects on the society which bears the brunt of the disaster. Well worth watching once I bring it back to the library tomorrow!

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