Bruno Dumont’s new film, “France” (and not “la” France) is a work on the lack of confrontation with the “real” and a reflection on what contemporary public opinion perceives as “true” (even if it is – always – re-staged in the form of continuous fictionalization). The great French author does so by telling the story of a well-known television journalist, France de Meurs (Léa Seydoux), with an important career behind her and a troubled private life. With her biting words and her adventurous spirit, France is one of the best in her field and the most loved in France. The woman is the protagonist of fiery political debates, the courageous envoy to war zones and nothing has ever dented her success. However, when she finds herself involved in a car accident, her life will be profoundly turned upside down. The accident will set off a spiral of events that will hit her career hard, leading the woman to several professional and personal disasters. The ensuing crisis will put it into question, making it lose the favor of its audience, and driving it towards ruin …
For Dumont it is enough to show and not to demonstrate, so starting from the first sequences he plays with his cards open: thanks to the artifices of classic editing, the director shows us (through a press conference by President Macron) how the Power has well incorporated its parody for draw an even broader legitimacy from it. Shortly after, during a reportage in the Syrian desert, France literally stages the events that it should document, and transforming into a film set where the cut of the shots are decided, the right points where to place the camera, the intensity of the lights, the connections between the images, the position of the “actors”. Of this gigantic construction of simulacra, France is the nerve center, being a sort of robot programmed to produce imagery. However, Dumont immediately puts it in crisis, bringing out first almost imperceptible gaps, then small inconsistencies, up to those large fractures that will end up overwhelming it completely. In this sad descent into hell, France suffers the most devastating effects of the phantasmagoria of the place she lived in, her gaze is refracted, and the woman finally looks at herself and her emptiness, pained epigone of a world crushed by icons that they refer only to themselves (and in this the performance by Léa Seydoux, diva of contemporary cinema, triggers further short circuits). But it is precisely through this awareness that France for the first time feels like a “living body”, almost mystical, ready to escape the society of the spectacle. Will he succeed?
Direction: Bruno Dumont; Interpreters: Léa Seydoux, Blanche Gardin, Benjamin Biolay; Film script: Bruno Dumont; Photography: David Chambille; Assembly: Nicolas Beer; Scenography: Markus Dicklhuner; Costumes: Alexandra Charles. Distribution: Academy2. Francia, 134’, 2021.
In Florence he is in these rooms: Spazio Alfieri.
21 October 2021 | 17:31