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Critique of Jenn's Video

I thought Jenn's project raised some relevant points, which, as we talked about in class, could be interpreted and misinterpreted in a number of ways. The setup for the story was a clearly written, well thought out narrative, which, as we find out in the end, is based on the Rwandan Genocide. The characters used in the film were quite humorous and absurd, notably because they were brown nugget-like food items. I thought the Curds was an appropriate name for one of the food “ethnicities?, especially with the current involvement of Kurdish tribes in the Iraq War. As was brought up in class, there seemed to be problems with whether or not to take the project as a serious reference to a horrific period in history, or a reference made to be more playful, while not necessarily mocking, to the conflict. Without reading the last scenes of the film, the paragraphs, one might think of the absurdity of the situation of branding people due to what food makes up their interiors. Especially when a bunch of Belgian waffles (another clever name reference) show up and separate the nuggets into ethnic groups, the viewer comes into full contact with the concept of a breakfast food holding executive power. This by itself causes the viewer to take a more playful view of the project, while also realizing the utter stupidity of an all-powerful regime. I felt that even without the ending titles, the film took a more serious tone when the nuggets were stopped and questioned, and cut open if they walked the streets sans identification. I think for me it was something in the voices…perhaps the acting was too good, because it actually made me feel sad for the brutally slaughtered food item, even with the humorous aspect of ketchup on her body in place of blood. Since the film did have ending titles solemnly telling the Rwandan story, this transition into sadness worked, and yanked us from the absurdity into a more serious representation of the genocide. And perhaps this is not a flaw in what the movie is trying to portray, this quick transition from light humor to dark humor; this could be were this movie excels. In any wartime situation, history has taught us that annoying, somewhat silly situations, (such as issuing identification cards and curfews based on race,) can spiral into something much more terrifying. It makes us uncomfortable, the speed of this transition, but that doesn’t mean it's not real. The cocaine use at the end of the video portion, which I tried to form a conclusion about at the viewing of the film, didn’t appear to me as making a light-hearted joke as perhaps Jenn may have intended. Not to say it wasn’t funny, what I mean is it appeared to me very dark and real humor, a return to the utterly absurd that began the movie. And again, I believe genocide is absurd and nonsensical, and the coke scene showed the effects of war and poverty, and a need for an escape from the nonsensical situation, I am hoping that I am making sense! I may be reading too deeply into this subject matter. However, Jenn’s project had some very mixed messages, which I’m not saying is a bad thing, it just got me thinking. The technical aspects to the project could have been a bit smoother. The repetition of the fire scenes was a little distracting. All in all, I am glad Jenn took a risk with this project and addressed a real issue, and whether it works or not, I still found it engaging.