Opening 28 Apr 2022
Writing credits: Gaspar Noé
Principal actors: Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun, Alex Lutz, Kylian Dheret, Vuk Brankovic
Argentinian director Gaspar Noé based in Paris forces us to have a closer look at the final aging process that we may all face at the end of our days. In a small flat, a retired psychologist (Françoise Lebrun) with dementia is fading by the hour. Her husband (Dario Argento), a writer who is trying to complete his final book, suffers with a heart condition and is struggling to manage the situation with his wife. The film has a very interesting format starting with one shot of the couple together, then a short but sweet classical French black and white video of a woman singing a song on the brief life of a flower in the garden. The next view is a split screen view of the couple’s perspective on how they pass their time. There are moments of convergence and other moments of isolation. The son (Alex Lutz) is at some point pulled into the drama and is supposed to “fix” everything but too is struggling with his own life and is striving to understand the problems facing both his parents.
At some point in the film there is an interview with a psychologist discussing the grieving process which includes remarks on historical rituals, post mourning awareness, and the subjective experience of having contact with the deceased. The film questions our inabilities to deal with the aging process and death in modern times. Making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021, this psychological drama will finally open here in Germany. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)