Denis Côté (Kanada 2018)
Denis Côté's films are defined by eccentricity, understanding this term as any way of life detached from orthodoxy and conventionalism. The filmmaker from Quebec can choose anything from a man living in the countryside surrounded by scrap metal, to body builders obsessed with their physiques, or the slow readjustment of a female ex-convict who chooses the forest as her place of refuge. This time, Côté poses a viewpoint – without making it explicit – on cities as places where citizens take shelter from the feeling of vulnerability caused by primitive fears and mysteries still lurking in the lonely wilderness of all geographies. That is why the filmmaker choses a tiny village in Canada as the epicenter of a tale with a hue of fantasy: Maybe dead and living people can unknowingly coexist, especially in such a location. A car accident (or suicide) suffered by a 21-year-old man alters the delicate balance in a community of no more than 215 (alive) inhabitants, an existential equilibrium jealously managed by a locale female major. Côté is an experienced filmmaker and is able to use the desolation of winter and a landscape covered in snow to further establish the vulnerability of his creatures and to materialize the state of mind of his main characters, particularly the brother and the mother of the deceased young man. For both of them, grief is too hard. And if the dead are watching the living, this metaphysic interaction is not nearly enough to alleviate the anguish experienced by consciousness when confronted with the absence of a loved one. (Roger Koza)


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