Great review of ‘Glossary of Broken Dreams’ by UK Film Review.
A highly intelligent and topical film, Glossary of Broken Dreams is an engaging epistemological documentary that will have you chuckling about, choking on, and considering the validity of, your political ideology.
Johannes Grenzfurthner’s opening gambit is amusing as he details the moment, when he was four years old, that he fell flat on his face on some concrete by a beach in Italy. The moment taught him that he had a difficult condition – he was ‘human’: a condition which experiences broken dreams and relies on narratives, metaphors and linguistic shortcuts to convey our ‘stories’ and it is this that Grenzfurthner compels us to explore and evaluate in his film. He tackles concepts such as ‘capitalism’, ‘privacy’ and ‘freedom’, exploring what that really means through a range of cinematic techniques.
Reminiscent of the ‘asides’ of Adam McKay’s The Big Short, Grenzfurthner utilises images, photos, voice-over, direct address, song, subtitles, animation, archive clips and live music to explore social constructs and their contradictory nature. Topical issues are cross-examined under the lenses of history, politics, philosophy and technology with interesting insights and questions resulting. The film explores the seeming-ridiculousness of campaigns for inequality in a society controlled by capitalism; the nonsense of the uproar around ‘fake news’ when all news, by its definition and construction is itself fake; and the irony of society’s desire for privacy yet its reluctance to do the one thing to protect its privacy – stop sharing. But the film doesn’t attempt to convert or pressure its audience into a particular opinion; largely, it offers multiple sides to each argument and raises questions for its audience to consider.