Thursday, August 04, 2005

Karla Concluded: Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Well, that answers my question... An August 3rd press release from the Montreal World Film Festival:
In light of the reaction to its proposed showing of the film "Karla", and the discomfort expressed by clients of its sponsors, MWFF organizers have decided against presenting the film at the Festival.
I have mixed feelings about this. As previously noted, I thought it was a big mistake for the festival to "propose" to present Karla. And, if public reaction caused the clueless Serge Losique -- who, keep in mind, was unaware that Karla Homolka is living in Montreal and didn't see what the fuss was since "la justice a fait son chemin" -- to realise that it was a mistake, then it's big of him to drop it from the schedule. But something makes me think "the discomfort expressed by clients of [the festival's] sponsors" had more to do with it.

If Losique really believed what he said a week ago -- "We judged the quality of the movie was good for the festival... It's a film like many other films we selected. That's all." -- then he is a lousy defender of artistic expression. He wouldn't make his festival more inclusive and transparent to please his government sponsors, but he'll drop a controversial film from the schedule to please his corporate ones.

If Losique didn't believe what he said and Karla was chosen for its sensational subject matter rather than its artistic merit, dropping it is more excusable, but the decision to screen it in the first place is exposed for what I thought it was right from the start: A cynical attempt to attract publicity to an moribund festival.

Damned either way.

Vive le New Montreal FilmFest!

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