Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oppression and Resistance in Silence

Libera me (1993) - Cavalier
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How do you convey oppression and resistance without ever uttering words? Alain Cavalier does it beautifully here. Libera me is even more austere than his Therese or any of Bresson films. Grey background doubles as any discernible locations. Non-actors act out in succession of beautifully lit tableaux. No moment is wasted, no thoughts, feelings and gesture go unnoticed. There are two families - a butcher and his three sons and a photographer and his wife who take passport photos which seem to be invaluable commodity in the fascist world, that the film takes place in, where mass killing and torture seem ordinary. They fight against the powers that be. This non-silent-silent film is a wonder to behold. Cavalier seems to be operating on another cinematic level that is guileless and stripped down to its pure elements. I am in awe.

Libera me plays as part of Art of the Real series at FSLC. Please visit their website for tickets.