Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Camera Buff - Movie Review

This is a 1979 Polish film by Kieslowski, about an amateur camera buff. Filip Mosz, a worker in the purchasing department of a factory in a small town in Poland, buys a camera to film his new born daughter. His life seems happy now with his wife, the daughter and his hobby of making videos and films. But when his boss asks him to shoot the celebration of the company's anniversary, Mosz finds that his films now offer bigger possibilities. The short film, 'Anniversary', wins third prize at a festival and Mosz is inspired to make more movies and give expression to his new found hobby.

He however fails to see the distress his wife goes through at his obsession with his camera work and films, the new people he meets including some attractive cinephiles, his touring and she leaves. His boss is not happy with a picture he makes about the oldest factory worker, while the worker himself is moved by what he sees. Even as his work starts getting recognition, Mosz realises that his friends are getting sacked because of a film he made that exposed the corruption in the system, his family has left and his creative expression really has no voice in that space. He exposes his third, passionately made film without showing it to the judges and symbolically turns the camera on himself at the end, perhaps introspectively.

Mosz desire for creative expression is captured brilliantly and the insecurities of those around him as he starts loving his camera as well. How an individual's right to expression can be stifled in societies cannot be shown better I felt as Mosz if made answerable to everything he shoots. With no support at home nor outside, Mosz would have given up his camera pretty soon after. I recommend watching it, if one gets a chance.

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