A Belhorizon joyfully black
by Anne Feuillère
28/09/2005 - Clearly the end is nigh, as three films in Belgium appear to predict, each in its own manner at the same time. Following the film by Yvan Le Moine Vendredi ou un autre jour screened yesterday at the Namur International Film Festival which recounts a man's struggle, forced in extreme isolation fto reflect on his culture, and Friday's closing film, Bunker Paradise [trailer, film focus] by Stefan Liberski, who described in parable fashion the decline of affluent Youth, unhappily devoted to money, now comes the first feature work of fiction from Inès Rabadán, screened at Namur, and taking on the theme of the class struggle, in form of a bucolic cruel fable.
Carl (Emmanuel Salinger) visits a three-star hotel which he is keen on buying. His journey drifts, his stay made up of little deviations, of tiny little events which add up to "This is not working out !". This break from the road offers him a laid back moment which only he understands the sense. Summed up by its lyrical ironic title, Belhorizon is full of false bucolic pleasure, taut with extreme restrained violence and which, finding no place for reflection, ends in implosion. Played by a band of very lively actors, a Salinger at forty, grizzled and melancholic, and the young actress Ilona del Marle stubborn and strong, the film confronts a group of very rich friends with this bored young girl in the hotel in the heart of the country. This wandering group of the bored and affluent, camping it up, with the arrogance and the smugness of those to whom everything is due, finds in Esméralda and her humble Spanish parents a chance to exercise their vain sadistic little game, which no longer fools them.
The film by Rabadán, besides its theme, nods overtly to Buñuel with one beautiful dreamlike scene and surrealistic shots. We find, too, a grating languor which underlines the transference between generations of a hatred that is impossible to expiate. This is how Inès Rabadán explained it: " I find there is something both fascinating and cruel about the fact that we will always come from where we come from, almost irreperably where we come from. I dream of a world where all that disappears, and since that's not how things are, that's all I can talk about. In fact it's the only thing that interesses me."
Belhorizon, produced by Denis Delcampe for Need Productions with the Flemish Belgian Lumière Producties is co-produced with France (OF2B Production), Switzerland (PCT Cinéma & Télévision) and Luxembourg (Tarantula). Sold internationally by Celluloïd Dreams, it will be distributed by Lumière in Belgium; the date is yet to be confirmed.
(Translated from French)