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Twitter Users Ponder the Best Films Where the Landscape Plays a Vital Role

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | February 14, 2022 |

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | February 14, 2022 |


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So I saw this Twitter prompt the other day—

And it immediately made me think of two films I had seen recently. The first was Paolo Sorrentino’s Hand of God. A beautiful and bittersweet coming-of-age film based around Sorrentino’s childhood in Naples and anchored on the city’s deification of Diego Maradona, Hand of God opens with an absolutely stunning sequence in which the camera sweeps over the dark blue waters of the Gulf of Naples. Rushing forward and slowly adjusting its gaze upwards as it does so, the view gradually reveals to us the city itself, partially painted golden as it succumbs to twilight. The camera tracks West, following the coastal road that separates Naples from the sea, taking in the stacked apartment buildings that cascade up the hills that lead away from the water as well as the marina dotted with a hundred boats and eventually rotating to reveal the promontory of the Posillipo coast where Naples slips into the water. It’s a striking, indellible opening, and it cements a core truth: Naples is as much of a character here as anyone else.

The other film the Twitter prompt made me think of was 2019’s This is not a burial, It’s a Resurrection, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s incredible depiction of one woman’s refusal to allow the forces of faux-progress to sever the land’s connection to its people. Late South African actress Mary Twala Mhlongo superbly plays Mantoa, an 80-year-old who stokes her small community to resistance against the resettlement being forced upon them in the name of dam construction and land redevelopment, and it is that huge, verdant land which also takes on a central role in the film. Film writer Guy Lodge described This is not a burial, It’s a Resurrection as ‘a haunted, unsentimental paean to land and its physical containment of community and ancestry,’ and that feeling bleeds from every frame.

Here are some of the thoughts that Twitter had in response to the prompt:




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