|Image taken from http://www.cornwallfilmfestival.com/|
Personally I am a big fan of Cornish films, one of my favourites over the last few years has been Will Coleman's excellent Daralla Jooan Chyannor (the story of John of Chyannor) which is a vivid and amusing telling of the ancient Cornish tale.
Will Coleman is a very gifted droll (story) teller and a very enthusiastic character so I was really looking forward to seeing Tamara in all it's glory and it certainly did not disappoint.
Tamara tells the tale of two Cornishmen obviously incensed by Cameron's slur of "it's the Tamar not the Amazon for Heaven's sake" keen to avenge this sleight and that of Devonwall itself, they set to work. Styling themselves as the Cornish Liberation Army they set to destroying the Tamar bridge, but life becomes more complicated and they realise their actions have consequences they never could have imagined. The film has a keen sense of humour and a keen sense of timing and suspense and in every way is very well made and professional (although I fear the special effects budget was all blown in one scene at the end!).
For me there's interesting commentary on Cornwall and Cornish politics and our language Kernewek. It exposes albeit in an exaggerated way some of the dilemmas and debates about politics and culture in Cornwall. Is direct action the answer? or is Tamara right when she proclaims: "No one has ever made the world a better place through hate and violence." Obviously in a less exaggerated way we might reframe these questions as: is confrontation and argument the right way forward? or is building consensus and agreement a better path? I think the answer is quite obvious it maybe boring and ordinary but I'd rather be like the heroine Tamara than the Laurel and Hardy-esque duo.
On the subject of the language it is interesting to note that the film frames the two nationalists as poor Cornish speakers whereas Tamara is a teacher and obviously fluent. Davey and Dawe seem to struggle with the language and use it simply to proclaim their political beliefs, in contrast Tamara uses the language to communicate and chat not to proclaim and make speeches. Certainly Tamara's use of the language is more admirable and honest than confused childlike sentences of the men that are mixed with political rhetoric.
Agree with me or not, I do hope you watch the film and feel free to leave comments below I'd love to know what other people think, maybe I read to much into it and it's simply a comedy, decide for yourself....
TAMARA from denzil monk on Vimeo.