Reactions to Balloon

Balloon, the latest film of our 76th season attracted the largest audience to date, but did not meet with such a positive reception as was expected. Nearly half of those present took the time to submit ratings and comments, with quite a few mentioning concerns about the sound quality.

It achieved an overall appreciation score of 69.7% – some of the comments received on the film:

  • Delightful and interesting look into another culture.
  • Beautiful and realistic portrayal of the cultural challenges and credos of a Tibetan farming family. Some imaginative camera work evoked a wonderful sense of the remoteness of their existence.
  • Excellent choice about the complex issues for Tibetans.
  • A fascinating blend of funny tender violent, poignant. All set against a bleak windswept landscape. So much of humanity there.
  • I really enjoyed this film. The harsh life and landscape and the cinematography was amazing. The phrase “don’t cry it holds back their passing” resonated with me.
  • Beautiful cinematography, interesting exploration of a very different place. The demands of faith and the gradual awareness of women’s rights is very gently and well done.
  • Extremely interesting and authentic. Hard to believe they weren’t a real family. Thoroughly enjoyed the film and felt transported to Tibet.
  • Felt very involved with the family and the choices they had to make. Wonderful child performances.
  • Unusual cinematography, sound not very even, but an engrossing film showing aspects of Tibetan life rarely shown.
  • Wonderful cinematography. Rather slow dialogue at times but important issues were raised in a simple way e.g conflict between cultural, political and religious beliefs . Enjoyable film.
  • A fascinating insight into the lives of people that are totally unknown to most of the West.
  • Another good choice.
  • Although praised on the flier you printed, I found the filming intrusive and unhelpful. I enjoyed the characters and the scenery and story but didn’t need to be seeing things blurry and at odd angles.
  • Moody and artistic.
  • Cleverly nuanced exploration of imposing one culture on another, great acting but a bit slow.
  • There were so many themes to this lovely multi-layered film. I enjoyed it, despite the sad ending.
  • Wonderful scenery and gentle humour tinged with sadness.
  • Insightful and thought provoking with a lot of symbolism which could be interpreted in several ways. Beautiful scenery and interesting use of the camera – seeing the world through different materials and perspectives perhaps? I thought it was quite sad at the end … almost as though the traditional Tibetan culture was drifting away.
  • Not the comedy I was expecting, but thought provoking and packed with symbolism and conflict. Particularly liked the dreamy sequences.
  • Very slow, but my main gripe was the mis-match between the portrayal of a ‘backward’, simple society and its living conditions against the contrived-seeming sophistication of the camera work. The latter seemed pretentious in the context.
  • Interesting set of circumstances, and insight into Buddhist culture. Historic events unclear and confusing.
  • Rather slow, didn’t really draw me in. Was interesting seeing the Tibetan culture and their way of life but unfortunately just wasn’t that exciting a film.
  • Reminded me of a long student ‘short’ and at times, simply a bit boring. But there were some nice ideas and images.
  • It could (should?) have been shorter, too many prolonged scenes that did not add to the beautiful scenery. Very noisy despite switching off my hearing aids!