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Enys Men

Mark Jenkin
Großbritannien 2022
91 min
OF
V'22

April 1973: Auf dem titelgebenden verlassenen Eiland vor Cornwalls Küste beobachtet eine Botanikerin das Wachstum einer besonderen Blume; Rituale bestimmen ihren Tagesablauf; „no change“, schreibt sie unermüdlich in ihr Journal, bis sich endlich – unmerklich zunächst, unleugbar dann – doch etwas ändert. Regen sich geisterhaft die Spuren des ehemaligen Insellebens? Oder ist es der Geisteszustand der Frau, der der Einsamkeit nachgibt und der Wirklichkeit den doppelten Boden der Fantasie einzieht? Auf 16mm mit einer Bolex aus den siebziger Jahren gedreht, wirkt ENYS MEN selbst wie ein Relikt, das sich vielleicht in einer der Höhlen angefunden hat: eine Schatzkiste möglicher Geschichten. (Alexandra Seitz)

Best known for his intriguing feature debut BAIT, director Mark Jenkin is not a filmmaker concerned with explanation. He crafts his images meticulously, composing each frame with fastidious care to the film texture, sound design and light, but ultimately leaves the viewer to piece together just what they have seen. ENYS MEN is a fascinating work set in Jenkin’s native Cornwall, a region known for its rich mythology and distinct identity. The film follows “The Volunteer” (Mary Woodvine) across the course of a spring spent on what we are told only is “The Abandoned Island of Enys Men,” which “has become a monument of grief.” She spends each day partaking in quasi-scientific rituals, checking on a bunch of strange white flowers with a bright red center, reading the temperature of the soil before dropping a single white rock down an echoing well. As the film goes on, these actions become increasingly sinister, and the island itself more energized, crawling with specters and visions by the final act. The closest classification for ENYS MEN would be to call it “folk-horror” but even with moments of exhausting suspense and sound design created to make audiences leap out of their seats, the film eludes any neat classification. Jenkin remains a singular filmmaker, creating work unlike anything that came before him. (Leila Latif)

Mark Jenkin: GOLDEN BURN (2002), THE RABBIT (2004), THE MIDNIGHT DRIVES (2007), HAPPY CHRISTMAS (2011), BAIT (2019), DAVID BOWIE IS DEAD (2018, K), VERTICAL SHAPES IN A HORIZONTAL LANDSCAPE (2018, K), HARD, CRACKED THE WIND (2019, K)

Credits
  • Mary Woodvine
  • Edward Rowe
  • Flo Crowe
  • Mark Jenkin
  • Mark Jenkin
  • Mark Jenkin
  • Mark Jenkin
  • Mark Jenkin
  • Joe Gray
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