The leniency of the leniency

The leniency of the leniency

Final spurt at the French film festival: Too many pos shake with director Abdellatif Kechiche, Marco Bellocchio, on the other hand, makes political cinema.

How many hours of high speed shake does a film take to get its message across? For the French director Abdellatif Kechiche, three hours are just enough. For the introduction, add a scene on the beach in which the camera seems to have temporarily forgotten that women have heads higher up on their bodies, and in between a never-ending, very explicit cunnilingus sequence. Welcome to the competition film "Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo", the second part of Kechiche's literary adaptation based on François Bégaudeau's novel "La blessure, la vraie".

The coming-of-age story about Amin (Shaïn Boumedine), his Tunisian family and various friends continues in this interlude. Even if the action is reduced to a minimum of dialogues. In the first part, “Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno”, which was competing in Venice two years ago, Kechiche had still considered it sensible to predominantly locate the events beyond the dance floor. Back then he let his protagonists dance for a long time. The joy in showing female pos was also pronounced.

If one could see in the first part a plea for self-determined handling of bodies, which was to be understood in France after the Bataclan attacks as standing up for democratic freedoms against Islamists of all stripes, this time Kechiche repeats this point so obsessively that the audience is intensified is faced with the question: go out or not? In this case, significantly more journalists left the press screening than in the competition. At the end there is a short bedroom scene in the morning after the celebration, which abruptly breaks off when the figure Charlotte (Alexia Chardard) steps naked at the window and, filmed from the outside, almost disappears behind the reflecting pane. One of the best moments of this rather redundant film.

The Italian Marco Bellocchio celebrates classic political cinema in “Il Traditore”. It tells of a crucial chapter in the fight against the Cosa Nostra, the "maxi trials" of the eighties against hundreds of "men of honor" of Sicilian organized crime. At the center of this legal eruption: the key witness Tommaso "Don Masino" Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino).

Bellocchio does not make this story a biopic or a hero story. It is limited to the events from Buscetta's arrest to his - non-violent - death. Few flashbacks complement a few key experiences in the life of this "traitor".

Not without sympathy, but Bellocchio draws his protagonist with a clear awareness of the criminal nature of Buscetta and in dealing with the truth, which is quite dubious. Pierfrancesco Favino gives it an elegant growl, in which charm and menace are balanced. As in the rest of the film. With the counter-cutting of supposedly peaceful family scenes of Buscetta's exile in Brazil and the brutal revenge of other Cosa Nostra families in Sicily, Bellocchio creates a mood of constant danger that remains until the end.

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Events in Cannes