What are the odds?

To view one depressing movie in 24 hours is character-building, life-affirming, educational, a reminder that someone is always worse off than you. Take your pick. When I returned Vidas Secas to the library today, careful to avoid the £1 an hour charge for overdue DVDs, I was looking forward to another gem from Brazilian cinema for the weekly screening.

The story of the poor-beyond-poverty family who resorted to eating roots and the pet parrot (well, it never uttered a word anyway) in 1940s dustbowl Brazil was desperately sad. Nelson Pereira dos Santos's 1963 classic is deliberately slow and parched. Poverty, hunger, ignorance, desperation, and the I-don't-give-a-shit-about-you-because-I'm-rich attitude of those who should know better are serious reminders that while we talk about credit crunches and belt-tightening, we really don't know what it is to be poor at all.

So I considered I'd looked, listened, learned and was maybe a bit of a better person for it. And gave thanks that I wouldn't have to see that movie ever again.

What, then, were the odds that today's screening should be none other than Vidas Secas (Barren Lives)? Ooo how I chuckled. Oh joy. I get to see it again. Jay, who I'm sure would be the first to admit he speaks his mind, gave a massive sigh abut half-way through.

Sounding something like Marvin the Paranoid Android, he articulated what we all felt.

This is sooooo depressing! How much LONGER will it go on?

Another 15 minutes, I advised, as truthfully as someone who doesn't possess a watch can say.

Then came the crunch. No-one really mourned the parrot. It was a pain in the ass and was better off slow roasted on an open fire. When the father didn't show up to take the family home from the feast, the kids were only worried about the dog, Baleia, who they looked on as part of the family. Dad was languishing in jail after a run-in with the law, just after he lost their hard-earned cash gambling, so served him right, really. But Baleia. Good old Baleia. Faithful old Baleia. Poorly old Baleia…

What! Said Jay

Don't tell me they shoot the dog!

They shot the dog. Then they moved on. Life's hell and then you die. At least Baleia was in doggy heaven.

Funnily enough, the movie seemed longer this time round. I hope that tomorrow, we'll watch cartoons.

Today's lovely thing
Seeing the word 'fim' on the screen. It's Portuguese for end.

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