You can bring the kids for the stilt walkers and jugglers, for the popcorn, pizza and face-painting, for all the under-the-big-tent fun that is Cinema Circus at the Chilmark Community Center every Wednesday at 5 p.m. The main act, of course, is the movie. This week the film is Where is Winky’s Horse? and here to review it is Island kid critic Zen Hughes.
For more on the 8 p.m. grownup film, Soul Power, with a question and answer session hosted by director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, see below.
Where is Winky’s Horse? Poor Titling, Rich Content.
Don’t let the title fool you. Where is Winky’s Horse? is a beautifully executed Dutch film that addresses strong themes. The film is focused around Winky, a young Chinese girl who dreams of riding Saint Nikolaus’ horse, the horse that Saint Nikolaus rode when he visited her hometown each year. The plot is accompanied by many motifs (varying from the individual conflicts between characters to the characters themselves) which show spectators that one’s determination and action to pursue a dream holds more value than the dream itself. Although the movie and its themes primarily target adolescent viewers, adults in would find the film enjoyable due to its uplifting optimism.
Scenes are short but rich in detail and emotion thanks to excellent acting and effective camera views. You could say that this makes up for the poor subtitling (on Wednesday night, the subtitles will be read aloud by Cinema Circus actors). Subtitling detracting from a movie is not new, but in various scenes, the inaccuracy and simplicity of the words chosen doesn’t give nearly the amount of emotion that should be given. Despite the minor and occasional subtitling flaws, Where is Winky’s Horse? maintains an exquisite quality throughout the of the film, including the credits which are accompanied by a playful animation.
Constant worry for a mother’s waning health, the mortification of a young girl over the disappointment of a dream unrealized, and the ending of a childhood friendship will keep watchers on the edge of their seats. And that’s only the first half of the movie.
The misleading title can’t be emphasized enough. The film is not about a snow-white horse, a girl’s sick mother, a best friend’s dream-catcher, or the birth of a sibling. It’s about pursuing a dream — a dream deserving to be pursued no matter how large or small, metaphoric or literal, shared or not shared.
Overall Where is Winky’s Horse? is worth seeing, whether you’re an adult or adolescent. It’s a feel-good film which will leave you with a smile on your face and a renewed appreciation for those you love.
At 8 p.m. the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival screens the feature film Soul Power.
In 1974, the most celebrated American R& B acts of the time came together with the most renowned musical groups in Africa for a 12-hour, three-night long concert held in Kinshasa, Zaire. The dream-child of Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine, this music festival became a reality when they convinced boxing promoter Don King to combine the event with The Rumble in the Jungle, the epic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, previously chronicled in the Academy Award-winning documentary When We Were Kings.
Soul Power is a verité documentary about this legendary music festival (dubbed Zaire 74), and it depicts the experiences and performances of such musical luminaries as James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, among a host of others. At the peak of their talents and the height of their careers, these artists were inspired by this return to their African roots, as well as the enthusiasm of the Zairian audience, to give the performances of their lives. The concert has achieved mythological significance as the definitive African-American musical event of the 20th century.
The film is crafted from the extensive outtakes that remained after making When We Were Kings, which documented the epic title fight, but relegated the music festival to a small, supporting role. The outtakes have remained vaulted for the past 34 years, until now. The film was ultimately edited down from over 125 hours worth of footage. Lensed primarily by celebrated cinematographers Albert Maysles, Paul Goldsmith, Kevin Keating and Roderick Young, Soul Power finally provides today’s audience the opportunity to experience this historic musical event in all of its magnificent, filmed glory.
Director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte will attend the screening and take questions.
Both films show at the Chilmark Community Center. Tickets are $6 for film festival members, $12 for the general public and $5 for kids.