La Presse at the 79th Venice Film Festival | Seen in Venice

Some of the films seen by our special correspondent at 79e Venice Film Festival.

Posted at 8:00 a.m.

Marc-Andre Lussier

Marc-Andre Lussier
The Press



Having already made its mark in the field of documentaries, in particular thanks to We, Alice Diop is now embarking on fiction by putting her expertise to good use. Inspired by a story of infanticide that made headlines in France a few years ago, the French filmmaker offers a film that is both sober and powerful, which confronts the viewer with their certainties. The story of Saint-Omer, selected in the official competition, essentially consists of a trial, seen from the point of view of Rama (Kayije Kagame), an author who plans to write a book by drawing a parallel with Medea, a character from Greek mythology. However, it appears that the testimony of Laurence (Guslagie Malanda), the accused who attributes her inexplicable gesture to witchcraft, will stir many things in this woman who is also preparing to become a mother. Having become interested in a trial that she herself followed face-to-face after seeing a photo of the accused in The world, Alice Diop approaches certain traits of society in a very subtle way, in particular with regard to the preconceived notions collectively maintained towards citizens from elsewhere. At the trial, we are also surprised that the accused, Franco-Senegalese, expresses herself “as well”. Thanks to a naturalistic approach, very bare, a staging devoid of any artifice, Alice Diop focuses on the truth of feelings, supported by two remarkable actresses.

Beyond the Wall

Too much is like not enough…

Returning to Venice five years after winning the prize for directing in the section Orrizonti (thanks to Case of conscience), Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jalilvand this time presents an immersive thriller whose approach is reminiscent of that chosen by Romain Gavras for Athena. In this film whose story is centered on that of a suicidal blind man who takes refuge with an unknown woman fleeing the police, we are immersed in the drama from the start by showing the protagonist’s attempt to end his life. . Without giving the viewer any more respite, the filmmaker then delves into the story of the fugitive, notably by taking us back to the moment when she was caught in the middle of a crowd movement during a violent demonstration, nervously filmed from the interior. The meeting between these two beings obviously causes unexpected reversals, but it is not said that the way adopted by the filmmaker, aggressive at times, produces the expected effect. Beyond the Wall is in the running for the Golden Lion.



La Presse at the 79th Venice Film Festival Seen


A scene from IIIfirst short film by Salomé Villeneuve

Salomé Villeneuve has a filmmaker’s eye. It is obvious. In III, her very first short film (selected in the Orizzonti section), she offers us a 12-minute film without dialogue (or almost), where three children from the same family come into conflict. The challenge ? One of them would have liked to keep the fish he had just caught to possibly eat it, but his older sister decided otherwise by throwing his brother’s catch back into the water. Echoing the exacerbated feelings experienced in childhood, the director knew how to trust the power of images, preferring evocation to explanation. There is something very promising here.

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La Presse at the 79th Venice Film Festival | Seen in Venice

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