Film (2007). Studio Impéria Films/Bac Films. Directed by Franck Vestiel. Written by Vestiel and Pierre Bordage. Cast includes Clovis Cornillac and Vimala Pons. 97 minutes. Colour.
A confused and confusing puzzle picture in which a man (Cornillac) has to learn the world before destroying it. After waking in a cave with Amnesia, he struggles his way to a seemingly abandoned subterranean facility (see Underground). Holographic talking heads make it clear that he is entering a literal power plant: a vast tree that acts as a Power Source for Eden Log, the city above. However, the sap from the tree has turned the workers into Mutants and led to a mini-civil war between security and technical personnel. Starkly shot on handheld cameras and almost monochromatic throughout, Vestiel's debut film is predominantly about a silent man wandering aimlessly around in the dark and therefore often fails to engage the viewer. As is inevitable in such stories, the mystery man proves to be intimately connected with the system in which he is trapped and, ultimately, contains the key to overturning the secretly Dystopian society. This leads to a revelation of the further exploitation of the underground workers in a manner after Ursula K Le Guin's "The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas" (in New Dimensions 3, anth 1973, ed Robert Silverberg), before a weak conclusion which trades in sentimentality, Christ-like imagery and an ignorance of Entropy. [ML]
see also: Biology; Cinema; Messiahs.
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