SFIFF50 DAY ELEVEN — Sunday

Members Screening, Kubuki x 2, Bushi Tei, Last Days of Yassar Arafat

The last Sunday of the Festival, Film Society Members are treated to a Bonus film at 9:30am. This truly is a bonus — not a Festival film — and this year it was Lars von Trier‘s new film The Boss of It All, a low budget deadpan farce and really good. It’s playing in San Francisco now, and I highly recommend it.

After, we had brunch at Bushi Tei, a very cool, nontraditional Japanese restaurant up Post Street from the Kubuki. Our waiter, a twenty-something caucausian, was extremely cordial and perfectly correct, but obviously new at the job. His plight was complicated by some kind of transition in their beverage license, so he had to serve our wine in — very elegant — coffee cups. The food was superb, both visually and in the mouth.

We continued the day with The Other Half, a Chinese film about a young lawyer who interviews battered and estranged women in a Chinese industrial town. I thought it sensitive and interesting; Carol and Sarah didn”t.

5last_days_of_yasser_arafat.jpg

Carol and Sarah stayed on for The Last Days of Yassar Arafat, which I had seen, an excellent documentary.

My notes:

Documentary

A film by Sherine Salama

“For many years I”ve traveled between Australia and Palestine,”

Yassar Arafat makes public appearances and conducts press conferences, but he very rarely grants private interviews. Ms Salama, through her political connections in Palestine, was promised an interview. She arrived from Australia, at the President’s Compound in Ramala in September 2003, but it wasn”t until November of 2004, after a few trips back and forth, that she was able to interview Arafat. Hers was the last interview of Arafat’s life. Although about 80% of the film is waiting, the setting, the Palestinian people and the scenes of Arafat himself are enlightening and interesting. He passed away in Paris on November 11, 2004. The scenes of the delivery of his casket back to the Compound in Ramala are amazing.

“To this day the exact cause of Arafat’s death is unknown.”

Big day. Long day.

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