Hamid Benamra*

The opener in Sati relates its tragedy through displaying a mountain with high and terrifying foggy summit, the grey color purports its sad content. It is the story of addiction on heights and the ongoing search after one self.

Piotr Morawski prior to his fall, " Present time is the real time for me" (Al Jazeera)

The widow in India sets her body on fire upon the death of her husband and then she is called "Sati". Meanwhile, the widow in this film is Polish and her name is Olga. She is a mother of two and she lost her husband Piotr Morawski and has no intention to follow the Indians in this tradition.

However, she envies them for being able to take such a tough decision since grief has no cure.

In the wind her face appears dry and emotionless. The silence of the mountain stands before her face competing over the eternal silence. The small and darkness of the house compete with the height and dreariness of the summit. The first takes of the film display the death of the protagonist, which increases our curiosity about how that happened.

Hiking in the mountains dates back to 1786, when Doctor Michel Paccard and his guide Jacques Balmet reached Mont Blanc; the highest summit in France and Europe.

The interest in the Himalayas had mounted at the beginning of the Nazi reign and the rise of excessive patriotism. So mountain- climbing had become the feature of the new man, according to pro-Hitler people.

The film has no constant frame, and the intention here isn't to include all the corners of the great dream. So, cinema can never trick life, and life can't turn into cinema suddenly by pressing the "record" button

"Are you filming?" Piotr Morawski asks his Italian mate Simone, by looking directly at the camera as if this was his final will. Simone haphazardly records Piotr Morawski's movements with unorganized frame but with good intention of course. The beauty of mountains makes their dangers unseen, does our love of life drive us to risk it? Piotr Morawski, however, is addicted to height solitude as he prefers to stand near the place that will take his life to staying in the hideout of "his pregnant girlfriend".

Man has a clear vision of the world atop of a mountain, but Olga realizes well the absence of her lover every day. Olga says that Piotr Morawski lives on the verge of life, and he is only concerned with the present time, and fear only exists in a virtual world that can be avoided.

 Death defiance
Defying death probably is a European bourgeois sport, a way to explain the sentimental unity, or an avenue to be remembered in history through a dramatic deed. After running a search in the lists of mountain climbers, we find a name of Susan Al Hoby, a Palestinian woman who managed to step afoot on the world's highest summit in 2011. That is, why don't we find locals from the Indians and Chinese who grew up there ready to take the lead from Europeans in this type of art?

His widow inquires why she wasn't able to ban him from going to the mountain. Rocks are used to loneliness and tranquility ever since and in need of no one to entertain them. On the other hand, the human always needs to challenge nature and exert their strength and even craziness against it.

The film has no constant frame, and the intention here isn't to include all the corners of the great dream. So, cinema can never trick life, and life can't turn into cinema suddenly by pressing the "record" button. Moreover, placing a sad and crying widow in front of a camera doesn't necessarily make a great film.

The death news of Piotr Morawski was mentioned early in the film and the colours of Olga's takes were left unadjusted (Aljazeera)
Death repeatedly tricks life, and life hasn't come to know the indefinite tricks of death. When we look at the frame and structure of the film, the absence of structure becomes more visible. This is despite the seventeen full focus takes of the mountain after the incident. These takes are of the same place and came to dot the sentences that have neither form nor punctuation. The first trick lies in the film name Sati, which is used for a widow who burns herself. This was a passing idea that Olga only stops at for a moment.

The happiness that Piotr Morawski is pursuing is different than the one of his wife. How marriage is possible between two who have stark contradiction in understanding the most important concept in life.

Piotr Morawski enjoys being alone in the mountain, and Olga is pleased to have Piotr Morawski next to her. Yet, she feels happy for him and feels sorry when he is away from her. Is sacrifice a form of love or excessiveness in being a victim? Why does the film turn Piotr Morawski into a hero more than those who die while performing pilgrimage or those who die of cancer?

Did the film idea originate only because Piotr Morawski was filmed while falling off the mountain? Were the subsequent scenes are just a mere make-up treatments where flaws appear from distance? Is the solitude of a climber on the cold and high mountains more dramatic than a lonely orphaned child at night? The random use of spices doesn't make your meal fancy.

The death announcement
In Sati, the death news of Piotr Morawski was mentioned early in the film and the colours of Olga's takes were left unadjusted.

Thus, the wailer and the one being cried at don't necessarily take you to documentary cinema for sure; rather, it was a psychological hijack. An obituary in a newspaper or on social media has a deeper impact than a documentary film bearing an interesting TV news report.

Consequently, if writers are ashamed of their spelling mistakes and musicians of their faulty musical notations, why film makers aren't ashamed when cinema is absent from their films? Does television, the first consumer to these products, promote these bad documentary films in the first place?

If writers are ashamed of their spelling mistakes and musicians of their faulty musical notations, why film makers aren't ashamed when cinema is absent from their films?

In Sati, there is something more important than realizing a goal; it is the ability to yield the dream. Piotr Morawski insisted to undertake this adventure out of his eternal belief despite of the pessimism of Olga.

There is something more important than realizing our objective; it is the approach we adopt. Life is more important than the mountain that people are trying to domesticate. Meanwhile, trading with death and its derivatives doesn't turn a critic into a lawyer and a vendor of hope, who can sell its content to any customer. The second notion that deserves a whole film is the moment of arriving at the destination or at least thinking that you have done so.

It is hard to forget the American runner, Gail Devers, who crippled a few meters prior to the finish line in the Olympic Games in 1992. She was similar to Piotr Morawski who seemed to be content about his effort after he passed a major barrier on his way to the summit.

He breathes comfortably to resume his trip, and suddenly he takes the wrong step and so death takes its prey. This is because "Death is a sudden act and doesn't like to wait", according to Mahmoud Darwish.

Why Indians and Chinese are not willing to reach the summit of the Himalayas? (Al Jazeera)

Piotr Morawski was not scared of death but the moment of death because he is a believer of heaven as he said on his way there. On April 8th 2009, Piotr Morawski passed away from Dhaulagiri in the Himalayas after he had climbed six summits. On the other hand, Olga had dedicated her time for writing and her two children.

Sati is a film that affirms on reaching the destination is more difficult than taking off, and casting skepticism on the end of any project is more important than doing so on the take-off of any project. Sati is a film that claims knowledge while it lacks a lot of cinema elements. Therefore, the topic of the film isn't cinema that doesn't need the seriousness of death or life to get credibility.

*An Algerian director from France

Source : Aljazeera