Thursday, 25 October 2018

Brimstone and Glory: Film Review

Brimstone and Glory: Film Review

Director: Viktor Jakovleski

The immersive touches of this lean documentary lend themselves well to getting you into the heart of Mexico.

Jaklovleski takes viewers into the centre of the action for the annual festival San Juan de Dios in the Mexican town of Tultepec as it's taken over by firework fever. The celebrations honour the saint, who legend has it, rescued people from a burning building without getting burned himself.
Brimstone and Glory: Film Review

Concentrating on two festivals - the Castles of Fire and the Burning of the Bulls - Jakloveski's camera takes a course deep into the events themselves, dispensing with talking heads and interviews, merely choosing to capture it as it happens.

Some shots are thrilling - granted, there are the obligatory moments of slow mo fireworks being waved, people smiling and running - but that's to be expected. But it also manages to get inside the events and the build up too - from the kid who's unsure he wants to follow his father into firework production because of the injuries he's seen to those clambering dangerously high to the top of the Castles of Fire (all captured via bodycam), the camera captures the danger of the industry as well as the thrill.
Brimstone and Glory: Film Review

Casual moments deliver much - a deliberation that "since we're not chemists, our measurements are not perfect" speaks volumes about the state of the industry there, and the OSH issues that workers face.

The roving camera idea works well for Brimstone and Glory - the drama comes from the banal - a storm here, a problem with the building of a bull there; but it also captures the inherent beauty of the fireworks as well - final scenes showing the Burning of the Bulls in full flight are stunning as they negotiate the utter chaos of the streets.

Definitely much ooh and ahhh, this fireworks doco captures the euphoria and danger of our fascination with veritable aplomb.

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