A nameless man appears in a small farm town on the northern French coast, spending his days wandering the fields and praying. He finds an acolyte in a sulky young woman, commits a seemingly random murder, and has violent sex with a strange woman. That’s about it for the story of this 2011 French drama, which evokes the Old Testament in its opaque simplicity, and Bruno Dumont’s commanding, atheistic style--rooted in purposely empty wide-screen vistas and the inexpressive faces of his nonactors--doesn’t offer many clues as to its meaning. As with L’Humanité
(1999), Dumont wants to give epic form to the longing for spirituality in a despiritualized world. I found the movie mind-blowing, though it will likely irritate as many viewers as it impresses. In French with subtitles.
See our full review:
Gene Siskel Film Center's epic international fest concludes this week