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FLICKS:Aftermath & Saving Mr. Banks

Posted on 30 January 2014 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


Sixty-nine years ago this week, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated. As that generation of survivors leave us, the responsibility of this brutal history falls upon future generations. Filmed in Poland with English subtitles, After math (Poklosie) tackles this theme about generational responsibility to the truth.

After making a living in Chicago for 20 years, Franc (Ireneusz Czop) the prodigal brother returns to his hometown in Poland. His brother, Jozek (Maciej

Stuhr) has stayed behind, buried their parents and maintained the farm. Feeling guilty for being away, Franc notes the strange behavior between the village people and Jozek.

Aftermath unravels like a good mystery, enhanced by writer/ director Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s concise direction and clear cinematography. The revelation is horrifying and personal, but is a worthy climax, guaranteed to inspire discussion. Aftermath opens tomorrow in local theaters.

Saving Mr. Banks wraps up its theatrical run shortly with a lukewarm box office. A muchanticipated Christmas Day release, this film has been a disappointment on the awards circuit, with Emma Thompson garnering most notice for her work as P.L. Travers, the author of the children’s classic Mary Poppins.

For almost three decades, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) attempted to produce Mary Poppins as a piece of cinema for his daughters, but P.L. Travers did not want to see her books be corrupted. Facing financial difficulties, Travers finally relents and flies to California to workshop Mary Poppins. With her nose high in the air, Travers creates continuous obstacles for the Walt Disney Imagineers. Underneath her frosty exterior, lies the pain of Travers’ tragic childhood.

Saving Mr. Banks is a film full of historical and subtle details. Given that Walt Disney died of lung cancer, he is introduced in the film with an offstage cough, later he is caught smoking a cigarette. During one dramatic scene in his office, a map of Florida is seen in the background with little flags placed around the Orlando region.

Twenty-two years ago, my buddy Bonnie took her daughters to go see Turner & Hooch, only to traumatized by the ending of this Tom Hanks movie. She told me that Saving Mr. Banks sabotaged her original feelings for Mary Poppins, which means that Aftermath would be too intense for her. However if one is seeking pure drama as an alternative to this Super Bowl weekend, then Saving Mr. Banks & Aftermath will provide a fine diversion.

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