Crítica: Chienne de rouge
por Muriel Del Don
- Esta misteriosa película de Yamina Zoutat trata sobre la sangre y el dolor, pero también sobre el renacimiento, y no se detiene ante nada, como un sabueso a la caza de su presa
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
Unearthed via Laundry, which won the Best Creation Prize at the Visions du Réel Festival (2010), and her first feature film, 6999 Doors [+lee también:
ficha de la película], which bagged the International Competition’s Sesterzio d’Argento at the very same event (2017), Yamina Zoutat is now at the Cinéma du Réel Festival in Paris, presenting her latest documentary, Bloodhound, which is a powerful and necessary film exploring blood and its powers, both destructive and healing.
Journalist Yamina Zoutat, who was twenty-eight at the time of the famous contaminated blood scandal, was given a warning: don’t show any blood. Twenty years later, the very same Yamina Zoutat has decided to go against this male injunction, filming blood in all its potent complexity. A sign of imminent danger, death and pain, but also of rebirth and the re-discovery of self, blood is shown without false modesty, in a direct and visceral fashion.
Driven by an irrepressible urge for gory, bloody images, like those depicting the hunting dog (or to be precise, “bloodhound”, trained to seek out wounded animals during hunts) as it licks blood from a dead deer or menstrual blood as it drips into a toilet, the director transports us into a world that’s both fascinating and repugnant, sophisticated yet gory.
In Bloodhound, the contaminated blood (carrying the AIDS virus) linked with the famous scandal which the journalist/director covered when she worked for TF1, becomes a magic potion. The vector of this symbolic transformation is Mohamed, who transports the bags of blood which Isabelle needs for her transplant. Stéphanie, the surgeon performing the operation, takes on the role of priestess in a salvific and shocking rite leaving indelible marks. Bloodhound is a film about heritage, contamination and transmission where nothing is as it seems and where taboos, such as those surrounding illness, death and animality, are challenged in direct and poetic fashion.
The personal story of the narrator/director, conveyed by a mysterious voice-over, winds its way into the tale, reminding us just how integral blood is to each of us. The intimacy we share with the director and her relationship with this potent red liquid seeps into the stories of the various protagonists to become their guiding line. The film’s narration is marked by the revelation, by Zoutat’s mother, of an illness which could have killed her when she was a child. Her blood was totally replaced by that of a stranger, and this blood “mutation” ultimately saved her life. Discombobulated by this discovery, the director then starts to reflect upon the significance of that gesture, on the power of a liquid which is both salvific and lethal, and which runs through all of our veins. “The entire film is based on the idea of reparation”, the director explains in an interview, showing how much blood is synonymous with rebirth and unity, but also diversity, in the film.
Yamina Zoutat plays with different genres - documentary, horror, autobiography, found footage and surrealist films – to create a work that’s unique in terms of its content as well as its style. Especially majestic are the scenes where she allegorically combines images which seem diametrically opposed: a swan plunging its long neck into the water and a bag of blood moving with surgical regularity during a transplant, or the parallel drawn between close-ups on the director’s mother’s feet and on the feet of extras who are taking part in a reconstruction of a mass terrorist attack.
Bloodhound is a disturbing film in the positive sense of the word, an intense and intimate film whose every frame seems to flow directly from the director’s veins.
This feature-length movie is produced by Geneva’s Close Up Films and Paris’s Les Films d’Ici, in co-production with RTS. World sales are entrusted to Shellac.
(Traducción del italiano)
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