Saturday, November 15, 2008


Before the Rains is one of those movies that slipped under the radar. In fact, it was so far under that I'd never heard of it. It is a British movie, I think. Are there British movies?, other than Masterpiece Theater of which I'm a huge fan.

The basic story is a tale of India marching into Independence. However, this is a back story told incidentally through circumstances by way of an entrepreneurial tea farmer who makes stupid personal and emotional decisions. The consequences of his bad judgement are amplified through enormous cultural differences.

I can't tell much about the story without giving it away. However, the teaching aspect of the movie was something I had not expected. The clash of cultures was so obviously transparent with unintended consequences that jumped out at you big time. If we ever had any doubt why Iraq and Afghanistan will not work, see this movie.

The India culture in Before the Rains, although different than Iraq and Afghanistan, display the same tribal and Klan mentality. So foreign to us. The sense that we can't understand it is the understatement of this movie and underscores it over and over: the "stoning" mentality of a culture locked into the stone age. Although this sounds like a put down, not from my view, it just is and we simply can't understand this mentality--not a judgement, just from our perspective.

A good pensive movie that makes you sigh and think. 2 parachutes.