So I had my first Singapore International Film Festival experience, and insofar as Symbol and Donor Unknown were interesting in their own ways… Both movies are the type of interesting that I would not want to experience a second time.
Symbol was just weird. A man wakes up in a huge white room and presses on the penises of cherubs to have all kinds of random and “seemingly nonsensical” things fall out from the walls… And this is somehow connected to Escargot Man, a wrestler with a dying career. It was very schadenfreude but I don’t get the point of making this movie at all.
Onto Donor Unknown, it’s a documentary about how the children of sperm donors recover their immensely extended families and that missing half of their genetic endowment. It has this feel-good quality about it, probably because the story is driven forward by JoEllen, the most cheerful personality in the entire documentary. So when I say feel-good, the movie simply fails to delve deep enough into the emotional fabric of identities and inheritance. That emotional resonance was what was most lacking in the entire documentary which could, as advertised, have a lot to say about the families of the future. It’s such a waste because that variety of family structures and personalities they had access to could have made for a poignant tale… Or perhaps real life is just not drama material.
The only scene that stayed with me was this dude talking about the need to understand this missing half of your heritage; or maybe, it’s not so much as a need as an instinctive desire to know – so where this is where I got this part of me from, etc. Definitely something that I can relate to.
To conclude, if anyone reading this is interested to give any of these 2 movies a watch… Errr, I’d say that there is a better use for your time. ^.^