The Insider for Sept. 15
Get the hankies out.
I Am Slave screens again at 6:30 p.m. at Varsity. The emotionally wrenching film is about a 12-year-old Sudanese girl abducted from her mountain village, sold as a slave in an auction and forced to work in the country's capital, Khartoum, and then London as a servant for rich Arabic familes for six years.
It's based on the real life tale of Mende Nazer who wrote the book Slave about her travails after escaping to freedom in the U.K.
About halfway through the jam-packed premiere at AMC Tuesday the theatre was jolted by loud, gut-wrenching cries coming from the cordoned off talent row.
After the film, Nazer confirmed that she was the sobbing woman who'd fled the theatre during the scene of the young lead being beaten with a garden hose for playing with her mistress's daughter. "It's so real, it's so vivid, it's like it just happened to me today; I relive the slavery," she explained during the Q&A.
Audience members, who wiped their tears silently during the screening, pressed British director Gabriel Range about his government's efforts to aid the estimated 5,000 people enslaved in the U.K. Menzer, now, 29, lives in London where she received asylum and has established a foundation - www.mendenazer.org - to raise awareness about domestic slavery.
Though not on the same level of socio-political import, Blue Valentine is also quite moving. Star critic Peter Howell said "It hurts to watch this disintegrating marriage, with its many small insults and misunderstandings that add up to emotional devastation." The movie which premieres at Ryerson Theatre at 6:15 p.m. stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle WIlliams as a blue-collar couple in the searing portrait of a relationship on the rocks. "Awards-season attention for both is deserved and seems assured," Howell added.