WEEK 1: Rosa, These Storms- Review

Rosa, These Storms 10mins 44secs

Rosa, These Storms tells the story of Guatemalan native Rosa Coj Bocels, and her pursuit of an education and the eventual fulfillment of her dream of graduating high school, nursing school, and consequently becoming a nurse.

Filmmakers Hannah Greg and Sean Kusanagi took a rather simple approach to documenting Rosa’s story, all the while keeping the audience engaged in the story. This was achieved because even though editing and cinematography was simple with no extravagant camera movement, and invisible editing, as opposed to the previous film produced “Living On One Dollar”, the images picked up and the mise-en-scene was appetizing to even look at.

As it relates to content, it was amazing to see this entire success story unravel from such a personal angle. Rosa voices her own story, fulfilling the expository mode of film making, and there were also some elements of the observational mode of film making, even though some scenes were staged in order to please the filmmakers’ aesthetic appeal and add a level of dramatic effect.

It was also interesting to see the English translation appear on screen as inter-tiles as opposed to at the bottom of the screen,  a noted creative element of the film.

Rosa’s story standing on its own generates great emotional response, and this documentary was executed well enough in order to allow audience members to empathize with Rosa and the trials she faced while trying to achieve her goals. A great part of this execution can be attributed to the well placed scores throughout the film, and silent gaps where needed. For example, when Rosa recalls the incident whereby a so called friend forced her into sexual activities, which lead to her giving birth to a special child (who unfortunately passed away), there was no score underlying her words, which in itself proved to be a powerful tool as it gives room fir the audience to be drawn in by what she’s saying and the emotion behind her words as they are no longer have music as a distraction.

All in all, this film was neatly packaged and did a brilliant job at telling the story of a tenacious woman who saw no boundaries where it pertains to one’s ability to achieve their dreams. She is a great and powerful example for entitled people who have access to endless resources that are being underutilized, as well as those in dire need and who may think they have no way out of their misery and unfortunate circumstances, to learn from and improve their outlook on their circumstances. Especially in a time where women are becoming empowered and fighting for what they believe in, it is great to see Rosa, a woman from a culture whereby women are restricted by so many rules and laws, and where women are regarded as less than men, that she could rise above and prove to people that their dreams matter and are completely attainable once hard work and perseverance is utilized.

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