What kind of planet will we leave for the next generation? During the 79th Venice Film Festival, an oppressive feeling emerged that we were killing our children in a world that could no longer be saved.
In Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Bardot (false dating of a bunch of facts) Does the newborn want to crawl back into the womb because the worldToo used“.
An astonishing number of other films from the 79th Venice Film Festival seem well aware of the miserable state of our planet and how we are disappointing a new generation and burdening them with the ghosts of our past.
The legacy of fascism
Mark Cousins, for example, put the festival into a bleak but urgent context on the first day with his documentary The march in Rome, in which the critic and filmmaker reflects on One Hundred Years of Fascism with archival material and lyrical audio commentary. Cousins consciously evokes the feeling that the spirit of fascism still haunts the world. She sees her legacy in political discontent, street turmoil, and populists hijacking public debate. You will be reminded of it every day at the Film Festival: the festival headquarters – Palazzo del Casinò – is a masterpiece of Fascist architecture and a reminder that this festival was founded in 1932 by Fascist Finance Minister Giuseppe Volpi.
which was then. But so far, the world looks like a powder keg waiting for a burning fuse. No movie has been able to capture that with the same force AthensRoman Javras’s explosive third feature film is now on Netflix. Like no other, Gavras monitors the political tension in the air in France. Turn it into a feature film no hai (1995) almost makes her look good.
In a memorable opening scene, apparently shot in one continuous take, a French police press conference is brutally disrupted by a Molotov cocktail, after which suburban boys rob the police station. The film seamlessly transitions between two main characters, the brothers who stand at opposite ends of the law: one is a soldier and the other is a young rebel who may lead the new revolution. What the two opposing brothers share is the loss of their younger brother, who was murdered on video by men in uniform, becoming the last straw in France’s political pressure cooker.
The name of the movie already suggests that Athens It is a Greek tragedy of epic proportions. Gavras is thoughtful enough to accommodate even the most tragic of characters: the mother of boys who has to say goodbye to more and more of her children within a day. In a world where no child wants to be born, these mothers are victims and perpetrators at the same time. They condemn their children to an insecure life full of trauma and pain, while at the same time they want to protect them from it.
The best film at the festival addressed this paradox eloquently and profoundly. With complete control over form and content, Alice Diop imagines in Saint Omar The trial of Laurency Coly (Guslagie Malanga), a Senegalese woman who drowned her newborn daughter in the sea. The film, which was recently selected as the French entry for the Academy Award, is based on a true story close to the director’s heart. For acute fiction—minimal in design, yet grand in execution—this process is thus a vehicle for bringing up painful themes of race and racism, immigration and diaspora, misogyny and motherhood, love and suffering.
Author and artist Kayije Kagame plays Rama, a writer who observes as a spectator what the operation does to Kohli. The mysterious woman and her semi-elusive work conjures up all manner of elusive ghosts from Rama’s past – questions about origin and upbringing, and whether she herself is loved and desired by her mother. At the same time, the operation puts her on an uncertain path toward motherhood.
Rich content of Saint Omar It seems that it brings all the other important works in this version of the rifle in contact with each other. From the child who is at the beginning cool Wants to crawl back into the womb so the baby doesn’t come Les enfants des autres; Female genius as a monster in tar The Metaphysical Horror of Motherhood by Joanna Hughes immortal daughter; Abandoned sister and estranged mother in Laura Poitras All beauty and bloodshed To the prodigal son in Sono. These are films about the often uncertain transmission process, what you inherited and learned for yourself from your ancestors and what you pass on to the next generation. See also: bones and everything, where cannibalism is hereditary; And the WhaleA dying man with an eating disorder finally makes things right with his estranged daughter. And of course too BlondeAbout the eventful life of Norma Jeane Mortenson, who survived the attempted murder of children and was swallowed up by her most famous character: the monster Marilyn Monroe.
Personal and political
It is remarkable how small and intimate most of the films are, as if we as a group have replaced the political arena with the individual and the family. At the same time, all of these films emphasize how political a character can be. This is of course a bourgeois cliché, but when the world around you is on fire, it really does seem as if you are only in control of what happens in your living room.
The unexpected winner of the Golden Lion All beauty and bloodshed He acutely understands how these two arenas always remain in contact with each other. The documentary by former Academy Award winner Laura Poitras Citizen Four (2014) and will be the IDFA Guest of Honor in November 2022, is an intimate portrait of Nan Goldin and an indictment essay of the illustrious Sackler family. This family fills museum coffers with the fortune they earn from the sinister pharmaceutical industry, on the backs of countless pill addicts.
Before Citizen Four Poitras was able to get closer to Edward Snowden, the whistleblower of the NSA, more than anyone else. In Nan Goldin’s case, she creates a particularly layered portrait of a struggling artist and passionate activist. What the film shows particularly well is how Golden’s photography and activism grew out of her childhood and her observations of the turbulent relationship between her mother and sister. Partially from that painful germ could grow a complex and motivated person, who dared to take over the largest museums in the world and the capital of the Sacklers. It was precisely in that shock that she had the ability to comfort and courage.
Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi poignantly envisioned the idea that you have to look for danger in the world in order to confront it. His latest movies no bears It turned towards the end of the festival and it felt like a logical apotheosis of all that Venice was about this year.
Panahi was recently imprisoned in Iran for six years for “propaganda against the regime,” a mind-boggling and outrageous punishment for being, as his colleague Jos van der Burg Panahi called him, “one of the most moderate directors in the world.” no bears It is certainly, with this context in mind, a very generous film that literally and figuratively pushes the limits of what Panahi can get away with as a convicted director.
In a great example of meta-photography – the specialty of the director, as previously witnessed This is not a movie (2011) – Panahi plays a director who makes a film about an Iranian couple trying to escape Iran’s grip via Turkey. Cinematically, Panahi, who was already banned from traveling and filming prior to his arrest, flirts with what he is not allowed to do in real life. Through the film he imagines himself for a moment outside the imposed limits. In his fantasy world, he is allowed to play with the laws that try to restrict him. It is a film as a political act. Someone who tries to leave the world a little better for those around him. The biggest tragedy is that creators like this are silenced anyway.