Wednesday, May 4, 2011

visa/vie

Hmm, so it's Wednesday and I'm still updating about the weekend? Yikes.

Saturday PJ and I met up with friends to see a film at the Labia Theatre (pronounced "lobby-uh"). We walked through Long Street to get to town, and had a weird experience on the way. It was a gorgeous, almost-hot and sunny day, but we walked by three (verbal) fights, all on the same street! First, a group of men having a heated conversation in Arabic; then a young German couple airing their grievances; finally, a group of French-speaking folks from an African nation having a row. What was in the air that day?

Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city. Even the drama is available in different languages.

First stop, the Company's Garden for a sit (and peeking a wedding going on--no fighting there!)

Couple's pic, PJ's idea.

The Gardens

We chose a film called Visa/Vie, which was set in Cape Town. It was a cute and quirky comedy about a French citizen looking for a South African to marry so she could stay in the country, and tries to conduct the search in one weekend. It was so fun to see familiar sights on film, but I don't think it was a particularly honest look at immigration issues. The main character, Anna, seemed to have a pretty cushy life to go back to in France (in scenes where she is on the phone with her mother, the family flat has a fantastic view of Paris), and there was never a reason given for why she didn't go through the proper channels to get a worker's visa.

In one scene, Anna meets up with a Congolese friend who works as a security guard. Through their conversation in French, we learn that this man is being deported as well--but are their situations at all equitable? I don't know of any civil wars going on in France right now.

In later scenes, Anna makes peace with her possible departure by smashing her dishes, throwing away her books, and giving away her records in Greenmarket Square. It seems a bit crass, however--doesn't Anna know any other Francophone refugees who would enjoy her hipster delights?

Despite my criticisms, I giggled a lot at Visa/Vie. The scenes where Anna conducts possible husband interviews at a Long Street bar were worth the price of admission.

It was a mellow night afterward, just enjoying the city and each other's company.

The Legendary Long Street







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