Saturday 14 December 2019

War drama premieres to mixed review at Cannes

Michel Hazanavicius
Michel Hazanavicius

Alexandria Sage

ONE of the most eagerly-anticipated films of this year's Cannes festival was greeted with both boos and cheers when it premiered last night.

A powerful indictment of the 1999 Chechen war by 'The Artist' director Michel Hazanavicius, the film got a decidedly mixed response.

Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Godard ventured into 3D for his latest festival entry at the age of 83.

Hazanavicius's 'The Search' and Godard's 'Adieu au Langage' (Goodbye to Language) are two of the films by French directors competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize, to be awarded on Saturday.

Fans of 'The Artist', an uplifting Hollywood fairy tale, will be in for a visceral shock with Hazanavicius's latest.

"Welcome to this big shit-hole – Chechnya," are the movie's opening words, uttered by a Russian soldier videotaping scenes of burnt-out buildings, dead livestock and, later, the murder of villagers in a war seen by some as Russia's Vietnam.

Chechnya fought a separatist war in 1994-96 briefly shaking off Russian rule, but lost the second in 1999-2000 when Russia's then-prime minister, Vladimir Putin, re-established control over the region.

Godard, who has made almost 40 films, has returned to Cannes with a 3D film that involves a married woman, a single man and a special dog that weaves in and out of their lives.

Irish Independent

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