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Silverbow Offers Alternative Movie Viewing Experience

The day I visited, there were over 20 others in the large Back Room at the Silverbow. The crowd varied from young adults to elderly people.

By: Randi Spray

The lights don’t dim in the Back Room; they turn off, abruptly focusing the viewer’s attention as the movie begins to play. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Silverbow Inn and Bakery shows films in their Back Room. They begin at 8 o’clock in the evening. Admission is free and the films usually involve some sort of alternative source or theme.
Silverbow offers an interesting movie-going experience for people who are tired of formulaic Hollywood films, overpriced snacks and impersonal theatres. Here, you can get a full meal for less than the price of a normal movie ticket and play board games with friends before the showing. There's even a couch.
The day I visited, there were over 20 others in the large Back Room at the Silverbow. The crowd varied from young adults to elderly people. Before the show, the audience was busy playing Scrabble and eating entrees from the sizeable Silverbow menu, the Clam Chowder is highly recommended.
The walls were coated with huge pictures from the Silverbow’s latest artist gallery, Alaska's Red Gold about the fishing industry in Bristol Bay. The attitude was relaxed and carefree. Everybody was enjoying their evening at the Silverbow.
Recently playing at the theatre was a film called "Blind Mountain," by Chinese director, Yang Li. The movie revolves around the life of Bai Xuemei, a college student who is drawn to the countryside by a friendly businessman promising work. When she gets there, however, she quickly finds out that she’s been sold into marriage with one of the locals.
So begins Bai’s plight. As the movie unfolds, we see her chained in her room, raped by her "husband," forced to do menial labor and beaten. The men in the village are described as "animals" that see no problem with beating their wives to keep them in line.
This is a problem for Bai, who spends the entire movie trying to escape through various means. She tries to send letters to her father through the mailman, who delivers them promptly to her "husband." She encourages a relationship with the school teacher and her husband’s cousin, who promises her he’ll help her escape.
Bai tries running over the mountain to the main road where she can catch a ride into town. The first time a driver denies her a ride because she has no money, and the second time her husband and his friends track her into town and drag her back right under the nose of the police. At one point, she even tries to commit suicide.
This film, released in 2007, deals with many modern Chinese problems. In rural villages, the practice of buying a wife is far from rare. The hospitals won’t care for the sick unless paid by the patient’s family, and the villagers are trapped in intense poverty, paying taxes for pigs they don’t even own.
Every week, the Silverbow changes movies. This week the movie playing is “Bottle Shock,” a story about the rivalry between the French wine industry and the upstart Californian one.
On Feb. 23, 24 and 25, Silverbow will be showing Hamlet 2, the diabolical, sacrilegious product of a student’s rendition of a sequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Content maintained by Whalesong staff.