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Drama Movies

October 5 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter

"The art of story is in decay, and as Aristotle observed twenty-three hundred years ago, when storytelling goes bad, the result is decadence. Flawed and false storytelling is forced to substitute spectacle for substance, trickery for truth. Weak stories, desperate to hold audience attention, degenerate into multimillion-dollar razzle-dazzle demo reels...music and sound effects become increasingly tumultuous. The total effect transudes into the grotesque. A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling." Screenwriting guru Robert McKee, from his book "Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting" (1997)

This week’s featured film was released in 2003, but its subject matter is even more relevant today. “Spare Parts” concerns the illegal trafficking, and exploitation, of economic and political migrants seeking refuge in Europe. On Sunday, Hungarians voted in a non-binding referendum to reject European Union quotas on accepting migrants. Authorities in Serbia and the Czech Republic are now expressing their desire to do the same. Greece and Sicily have also been struggling to cope with the influx of refugees crossing the Mediterranean.

Damjan Kozole’s film is told from the point-of-view of the traffickers, who transport migrants across Slovenia to the border with Italy. Kozole alternates between documentary and feature film work, and “Spare Parts” is photographed in a true-to-life style. The film struck me as an example of the “honest, powerful storytelling” Robert McKee describes in the quote above. The soundtrack for “Spare Parts”, which I did not have room to discuss in my review, is a beautiful fusion of traditional and contemporary world music. At eighty-five minutes long, “Spare Parts” is viewing time well-spent.

Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.

Spare Parts Film Review
"Sight & Sound" magazine ranked "Spare Parts" as one of the ten most important films of the New Europe. Writer/director Damjan Kozole takes an uncompromising look at the business/exploitation of undocumented migrants in his native Slovenia.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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