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Askew Review 15

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MONDO CANE
(Blue Underground) Eight DVDs. Total running time is 926 minutes. That would be 7237 hours for the mathematically challenged. Not Rated; lots of real life shyt that may disturb you. 
Mondo Cane
- 1962. 108 minutes. Depicts the odder side of various cultures from around the world. From animal slaughter to tattoos, it’s all shown here. Poor sharks get giant, poisonous sea urchins stuffed down their throats to slowly suffer and die. Made me feel bad.
Mondo Cane 2
- 1964. 94 minutes. More of the same from its predecessor. Burning munks, slave trade in the Sudan, and religious wackos licking the ground till their tongues bleed. All sorts of wackiness. 
Africa Addio; Directors’ Cut
- 1966. 139 minutes. Italian language with English subtitles. As the English withdraw and colonialism comes to an end, a number of African nations are suddenly burdened with being ill prepared for independence. Spanning three years, Africa Addio shows how these nations struggled with instability. Murders, wars, famine, and massive animal pouching are gruesomely detailed. You know, it’s been over almost 40 years since this movie was made and these nations still haven’t learned their lessons or stopped this nonsense. Way too much death in this documentary. Troubling.
Africa Addio; English Version
- 1966. 128 minutes. Same as above, but in English. Extras include; trailer, tv spot, poster and still gallery, and a DVD-Rom press book. 
Goodbye Uncle Tom
- 1971. 123 minutes. Shot like a reality tv or documentary, Goodbye Uncle Tom follows a number of people involved in the mid 1800s American slave trade. From start to finish, we hear from those in charge why they believe in slavery and witness the absolute ugliness humans inflicted upon each other. Downright disturbing movie. The treatment of the slaves seemed all too real; to the point of me questioning how some of the infants were treated. Amazing idea!  Extras include theatrical trailer, behind the scenes footage with audio commentary, stills, etc. 
Addio Zio Tom (Goodbye Uncle Tom)
- 1971. 136 minutes. Director’s cute of the above. In Italian with optional English subtitles. Much “ballsier” than the above version to due American translators censoring English version as to not pissing off Black Americans. This version far exceeds it’s English counterpart.
Women of the World
- 1963. 107 minutes.  This disc takes a look at how women around the world fit within society in their own bizarre way. Remember, this was made in 1963 and what was considered bizarre then, is mostly commonplace today. Highlights: women in the Israeli army (lot of good looking ones!), clan of 84 women who are married to some old fart Scottish dude, and American women high up on the corporate and government ladders. Nothing all that interesting or revealing. Brief nudity.
The Godfathers of Mondo
- 2003. 90 minutes. Very cool documentary about Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, you know, the two dudes who made this box set possible. The doc includes running interviews with the directors and many of their crew. Cult film historians also talk about Jacopetti and Prosperi’s groundbreaking filmmaking. This documentary is most compelling and definitely made me appreciate the duo’s work even more than I thought. I would suggest watching this DVD last…
    
Not only were Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi light years ahead of their time, they also invented today’s ever popular “Shockumentary” genre of media. Although, this stuff isn’t just shock, it has educational, and even cultural value. I did enjoy this box set, however, if I bought it I may be annoyed with getting two different versions of two movies. The only good that comes from the English versions of Addio Africa and Tom, is that we see how much superior and hard hitting the director’s version are when compared/watched side by side. I think the most amazing thing about these DVDs is how relevant the subject mater still is, even after 30 or so years. Jacopetti and Prosperi knew how to pick their topics! Good stuff over here.- Denis Sheehan
 

        

 

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