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Film Review: Memory
by Christine Riney

Michel Franco, Mexico, USA, Chile 2023

This is Michel Franco’s 8th feature film and only my first film from this prolific director. An interesting initiation as Franco was in attendance and spoke about how he likes to use different camera angles so the actors can’t look into the camera, capturing a more natural interaction between the characters. It definitely made it feel very intimate, as if you were in the room when they were talking.

The film explores memory and how it affects you, both when you are losing it through dementia, Saul (Peter Sarsgaard) and trying to unpick it after an early life trauma, Sylvia (Jessica Chastain). This distinction between losing your memory and being unable to forget provided an interesting perspective on the slippery subject of what and how we remember. Although both the main characters are full of sadness and the situation in which they find themselves is anything but uplifting they can still laugh, enjoy relationships, and live life. It is full of suspense, drama, love, and sadness but also joy. Worth noting Peter Sarsgaard won Best Actor at the 2023 Venice Film Festival for his portrayal of Saul.