Insight blogger, Erika Barbosa, previews Sarah, the Myth: shortlisted for the 4th Insight Film Festival.
Sarah, the Myth, is a modern film with a poetic and epic feel. A timeless quality is evoked through the film’s commentary on war as being a pervasive phenomenon of humanity. When watching this film, there is a sense of tension from conflicting, opposing elements.
Although the film is set at the time of World War I, it is not so much a period piece as a depiction of the relentlessness of war as the ultimate human predicament.
The main character in the film is the famous French actress, Sarah Bernhardt, who was immortalised by the 1890’s lithographic posters of Alphonse Mucha. Bernhardt creates a strong female presence, even as she re-enacts excerpts from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, while the Great War evokes an overwhelming masculinity. Theatre and drama are juxtaposed with the reality and desolation of war.
Whilst films at the Insight Festival need to explore the theme of ‘faith’ in some way, they do not need to cover stories that relate to particular religions or be overt in their discussion of faith. Sarah, the Myth comments on the history of war in the context of humanity. Faith looms as an issue throughout the history of wars. As a critique of war, this film probes the audience to question their relationship to conflict and war.