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PARK CITY – The characters never interact in Canadian filmmaker Francois Delisle’s unique family story. In this New Frontier selection, Delisle blends stark visual images with character voice-overs to convey the hurt and isolation that one family faces because one of its members is imprisoned.
Forty-something Pierre has wasted away for several years in a prison for a death he caused: He killed a pedestrian while driving impaired. Juxtaposing harsh stony images of black-and-white, while the convict laments his situation and recalls his past, filmmaker Delisle delineates how the crime has impacted those closest to him. He also solidly evinces the delusional aspect to Pierre’s dream that he will be re-united with his ex-wife. It is both a source of strength to him, as well as his ongoing decay.
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Most poignant is the straightforward ruminations of his stoic mother. Against grim images of a high-rise condo complex, she details her daily drudgery: Listening to news, tidying up, driving the long-distance to visit her son. Most compelling is her straightforward realization that she will never see her only son free again.
Throughout, Delisle interweaves the thoughts and plights of each character whose lives have been unalterably deadened because of one hideous act. By circling around through the varied viewpoints and personal situations, Delisle has fashioned a Rashomon-like portrait of the disintegration of a family.
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Empowered by his savvy selections of images, and a deft interweaving of the personal viewpoints, he has fashioned a thoughtful and rounded portrait of a family destroyed.
Cast: Noemie Godin-Vigneau, Francois Delisle, Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Pogonat, Francois Papineau, Andree Lachapelle
Production company: Films 53/12
Director/Screenwriter/Producer/Director of photography: Francois Delisle
No rating, 85 minutes.
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