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DOXA2010: The Mirror-Trailer

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Uploaded on Apr 10, 2010

David Christensen, Canada, 2009, 85 minutes

Friday, May 14 | 6:30pm | Vancity Theatre

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The Italian town of Viganella dwells in darkness eighty-three days of the year. Naturally enough, its not much of a tourist hot spot. With gumption, zeal and more than a touch of hubris, the local mayor decides to remedy his towns dreariness by installing a giant mirror to reflect sunlight to the pale citizenry. Some of the locals are less than thrilled at the prospect. But with their whip-thin mayor clearly in a froth over the idea, the project gallops ahead. What follows is a wryly touching story of light and darkness and many shades of grey.

Against the deep green of the Italian Alps, the village of Viganella has slowly been losing its population through the usual process of attrition. Young people move away and dont come back, and as the village elders slip their mortal coil, the town shows every sign of disappearing. (The population has dwindled from 100 souls to less than 30 in recent years.) Even while some hippy types from Germany set up a Buddhist commune on the mountainside (naturally enough in a permanently sunny location), the towns folks dwell in gloom from November through February.

Director David Christensen brings a purposefully light touch to the saga, introducing each narrative development with a somewhat wry intertitle that details each stage of the mirrors construction, arrival and placement, via helicopter and a ground crew of men, desperately tugging on various ropes and pulleys. As the world media convenes on the village, and the mayors cell phone rings off the hook, the drama begins to mount. Will the project with its Icarus-like aspects actually work, or will the villagers be forever consigned to live in dimness and anonymity?

An almost ridiculously lovely film (keep your eyes peeled for the final bravura shot in particular), The Mirror is a thoughtful and intelligent look at the predicament faced by small rural centres. The final moment of glory, when the sun comes up and hits the shining reflective surface, must be witnessed. Whatever the eventual outcome for the town and its inhabitants, this singular moment of exquisite beauty makes it all worthwhile.

FILM WEBSITE:
http://www.vivofilm.it/

FESTIVAL WEBSITE:
http://www.doxafestival.ca/festival/f...

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