WFC Bolivia: American Visa

Whew! South American to the rescue again. After a string of old-fashioned grandiose films, it’s such a relief to watch a smart, fresh film again.

It’s a bit like… Breaking Bad. An asshole (as the cab driver says at the start) is dealt a bad blow and turns to crime. And we’re supposed to care a lot because er er er he’s the protagonist. He even looks the same, which makes me think that Breaking Bad is a rip-off of this film! Sure!

But it’s excitingly shot and the actors are lovely. However, it goes a bit maudlin in the middle and becomes kinda boring. Still… the good bits are good.

If this blog series was a Worlds Best Part Of The World For Films Competition, South America would win it hands down. Easily. Perhaps I should watch a bunch of South American films next… Like fifty… Er… Sudamérica Cinquenta… Or SAL…

Or I could do something else, like get back to hacking Emacs.

American Visa. Juan Carlos Valdivia. 2005. Bolivia.

Pisco Sour

  • 9 parts Pisco
  • 6 parts lime juice
  • 4 parts simple syrup
  • 4 parts egg white
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake everything except the bitters vigorously with ice. Strain into a glass and add a dash of Angostura bitters.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Libya: عمر المختار

Hey, it’s Mad Max!

It’s another one of those Birth of a Nation stories, er, I mean, one of those nation building films. It’s not my favourite genre, but you have to respect the grandeur of some of the scenes. Yuge scenes in yuge rooms.

Amusingly enough, this film was banned in 1982 in Italy. “The Italian authorities had banned the film in 1982 because, in the words of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, it was “damaging to the honor of the army”.” Man, that shit is weak. I mean, it’s about the Libyan liberation from Italian rule, so you have to expect both some tea and some shade.

It’s a pretty well-acted and professionally filmed and edited film. Very conventional: Think American war movies from the 50s.

A bit on the gory side and it’s way, way too long.

Lion of the Desert. Moustapha Akkad. 1980. Libya.

Eastern Promise

  • 4 parts vodka
  • 1 part apricot brandy liqueur
  • 1 part rose syrup
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part mineral water

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Azerbaijan: Ali and Nino

This is a high-budget Kazakh (is that the right word?) film. It’s in English, and some parts are more like a British costume drama than anything else. It’s a UK co-production, so that makes sense.

It’s a very romantic film, and it’s a very nationalistic film. So it’s a national-romantic film? It’s hard not to be charmed by the cute scenes, but the nation-building scenes are pretty difficult to swallow.

Ali and Nino. Asif Kapadia. 2016. Azerbaijan.

Arak Buck

  • 5 parts arak
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 2 parts lemon juice (quarter lemon)
  • 12 parts ginger ale

Stir the first three ingredients with ice in a glass. Top up with ginger ale.

This was completely undrinkable, but then I dumped a lot of simple syrup into it, and it became almost pleasant.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Malawi: William and the Windmill

This Amazon find isn’t really a Malawi film, but it’s an American documentary about a great Malawi kid who’s into windmills and an American guy that helps him make bigger windmills.

It’s… a bit uncomfortable to watch, because his helper is so… verbal, and the kid isn’t.

I was also wondering whether the filmmakers had some kind of agenda going, because so many scenes are uncomfortable to watch. At one point I was starting to wonder whether this was another one of those fake documentaries. But I guess not.

William and the Windmill. Ben Nabors. 2013. Malawi.

The Pumulani

  • 1 part blue curaçao
  • 2 parts Malibu rum
  • ginger ale
  • coconut

Shake the alcohol with ice with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Top up with ginger ale and sprinkle with coconut.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Guyana: Exploration Guyana

Another Youtube documentary.

Perhaps I should say something about my methodology for finding films from these smaller countries. First I check Istanbulfilms, because they have an impressive list of interesting films. But the only film they listed from Guyana wasn’t available anywhere, not even Amazon Video.

So then I google for “best films from Guyana”, which usually doesn’t turn up anything interesting, and it didn’t here either. Then I go to imdb and use their country-based listing, and sort it by number of votes (because that’s usually a good indication for how available the films are).

Then I just go through that list and search for the films on US Amazon, UK Amazon and sometimes French Amazon, and then I search Youtube.

So when I end up with a film like this (which is really a British travelogue from a Guyana), it’s not because I’m trying to avoid feature films. It’s just getting difficult now to find films. So little makes it out of these countries.

Exploration Guyana. Charles Montier. 2011. Guyana.

The Georgetown

  • 2 parts dark rum
  • 1 part maraschino liqueur
  • some dashes of orange bitters

Pour into an ice-filled mixing glass and stir for a minute. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

I thought this was going to be horrible, but it was refreshing.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Grenada: Blinded

This one can be found here and then and then and then the last part is missing! It’s a no-budget shortish film, but I didn’t realise that the last 20 minutes wasn’t available yet. Oops! It’s told in flashback form after something disasterous has happened, and then we learn… what. But (I’m always sorry to say this about non-professional films in this blog series), it’s just not very gripping.

. Anderson Quarless. 2006. Grenada.

Tropical Teaser 2 parts dark rum 1 part Amaretto 8 parts grapefruit juice Shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into an ice-filled glass.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.