"Time for Outrage!" the 62nd Berlin Film Festival Returns to Its Political Roots
Gemunden, Gerd, Film Criticism
"Time for outrage!"--thus reads the English title of Stephane Hessel's short 2010 essay "Indignez-Vous!" that became the battle cry for the Occupy Movement in both Europe and the United States. It was only fitting that its author, now age 94 and a member of the French Resistance during World War II, would be present for the screening of Tony Gatlif's Indignados, a docu-fiction that seeks to illustrate Hessel's key theses by following the pursuits of a young illegal African migrant as she travels through Greece, France, and Spain during the 2011 summer of widespread protest and political unrest. Relying more on symbolic association than talking heads and their he-says/she-says argumentations, Indignados assumes the perspective of its protagonist as she registers surrounding events with a mixture of incomprehension and excitement. Gatlif uses phrases from Hessel's manifesto to illustrate the journey of Betty (Isabel Vendrell Cortes) to the heart of today's zeitgeist, forcefully linking the financial crisis of the Euro-zone countries to the problem of illegal migration.
A different form of outrage is on view in Benoit Jacques' Competition entry, Les adieux a la reine/Farewell My Queen, a lavish costume drama set during the first days of the French Revolution as seen through the eyes of Sidonie (Lea Sedoux), one of the ladies-in-waiting of Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger). Best known to U.S. audiences from Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris" (2011), where she plays a Parisian bookseller who shares Owen Wilson's passion for modern literature and prolonged walks in the rain, Sedoux here excels as a confidante of the monarch who becomes privy to the bits and pieces of information that arrive at Versailles about political turmoil in the French capital. Sidonie's worm's-eye view and state of anguished confusion is brought across vividly by a hand-held camera that shadows her closely from behind as she weaves her way through the extensive servants' quarters of the castle, only to snatch rumors about beheadings and street fights. Kruger and Virginie Ledoyen, …
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Publication information: Article title: "Time for Outrage!" the 62nd Berlin Film Festival Returns to Its Political Roots. Contributors: Gemunden, Gerd - Author. Journal title: Film Criticism. Volume: 36. Issue: 3 Publication date: Spring 2012. Page number: 45+. © 1999 Allegheny College. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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