The National Archaeological Museum preserves more than a thousand objects looted by the Franco regime. Ceramic works that the dictatorship robbed from their owners and ended up on the walls of the museum. For decades, no one cared where these remains came from or who their rightful owners were. The art world was constantly living on loot. Recently, the museum world was shaken by other news. The National Museum of Anthropology has removed all human remains from public visitation. Once again, the face of the present made him think about placing the remains of the dead in a display case. Looting and revising ethnological museums has a lot to do with what Alice Rohrwacher offers us in La Chimera, a film that closed the official section of the Cannes Film Festival in style.
The Italian director, who already surprised everyone with Lazzaro Feliz, tells the story of some tombaroli, some Italian tomb robbers, led by the Englishman Josh O’Connor, who rob Etruscan tombs to sell the remains they find. Dishes, bangles, jewelry, gold coins… anything works for them. With his story and poetic style, dream-like fugues and a lot of feline, Rorwacher invites us to think about many issues, but mainly two that are always present in his cinema: property and systemic inequality.
His heroes are losers. There is a sympathetic look towards them. They are only part of the system, the weakest. A simple mechanism. They rob and sell for four dollars to survive. They are part of a field, an abandoned Italian village. What they sell ends up in the hands of a mysterious character named Spartacus, who then sells it to museums and collectors around the world. What we see later in the rooms is born of guilt, but no one cares. The problem is not with those who physically commit the crime, but with the top of the pyramid, the collectors who go to auctions to own something.
Without loading ink, with a fabulous touch, beautiful songs and a genius – a waste of electronic music that no one expects – the director provokes very deep thoughts. Does anyone have the right to take from the dead what was buried, whose are the dead, the state, the people? A conversation about ownership begins, which is repeated more clearly later in the film when they arrive at an abandoned train station and a character asks who it is: “Everyone…or no one,” someone says. Rohrwacher suggests that society should belong to everyone, to the common. That buildings may have a better end than eating plants. It does this with a final scene where the feminist commune shows that the collective is better.
He confronts his tombarol, all men, blinded by four pesetas, single women aiming for a better world. That they support, that they are not greedy. Again, his parable speaks of inequality. Rorwacher loves losers. They are your heroes. He does not save them from their actions, but listens to them, looks at them gently and understands them. They are part of a system that promotes inequality that benefits from it. Would these characters consider robbing a grave if they had decent jobs?
A film that hides many layers in its delicious form, and which has a great performance by Josh O’Connor, who wrote to the director to work with him, is one of its best assets. The actor who gave life to Prince Charles in The Crown is one of those actors who can express a million emotions with just one look. speechless. His scenes with Isabella Rossellini are pure joy in a complex and delicate film.
Chimera should feature in the list of winners, with many considering the favorite as Zone of Interest, a (free) adaptation of Martin Amis’s novel, which left Cannes speechless in the early stages of the competition. Undoubtedly, this is the most powerful, powerful and important film that has passed the official section. A re-imagining of the Holocaust, which does not depict a single death or scene of violence, and which, however, is most disturbing. A brilliant reflection on the banality of evil, which raises the question of how something so horrific can be shown in fiction and film, which, in a risky final scene, also seems to be in the present.
The jury, headed by Ruben Östlund, should not forget the humanism of Aki Kaurismäk in beautiful fallen leaves. The Finn again looks at the losers with characteristic humanism, which shows the need to unite. A love story full of film and musical touches that is one of the critics’ favorites. Kaurismak is a legend of European cinema, who also does not have a Palme d’Or branch.
Another of the most famous was Justine Triet’s French Anatomy of Autumn, a courtroom thriller through which the director X-rays a couple with a visually impaired son. The top prizes may seem like too much spoils for her, but the awards for a female interpretation must surely be impressive for her leading lady, Sandra Huler. For Best Actor, Japan’s Koji Yakusho sounds powerful, brilliant in his argument in Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, with a tear-jerking final scene. Also look out for the classic Cannes winners, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, whose “About Dry Herbs” can aim for best screenplay and, above all, two non-fiction bets in the official section: Youth, Wang Bing and Las Olfa’s. Daughters, by Kauter Ben Hania.
Source: El Diario