May 12, 2022

“Great Freedom”, “Investigation into a State Scandal” … Reviews of films in theaters this week

11:32 a.m., February 6, 2022

Great Freedom ***

De Sebastian Meise with Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich. 1h56.

Anton von Lucke and Franz Rogowski in “Great Freedom”.

(buccaneer film raw film)

Although the law punishes homosexuality with imprisonment in post-war Germany, Hans Hoffmann refuses to give up loving men. Behind bars, he bonds with Viktor, a common law prisoner… In an almost dystopian world, whose tension evokes 1984, we find ourselves, like the hero of the film, taken hostage in an endless time loop: the decades go by, but the walls of the jails, the little arrangements with the guards, the tips for spending a night with your lover or the moments of discouragement remain the same. Behind the brutal prison drama that depicts a mental and physical power struggle, poignant love stories emerge, universal in their intensity and accuracy. With a lot of disenchantment and an unbearable irony marked up to the title, the prison becomes a space of “tremendous freedom”, the only place where Hans can allow himself to be himself. B.T.

The Innocents ***

D’Eskil Vogt, with Rakel Lenora Fløttum and Alva Brynsmo Ramstad. 1h57.

“The Innocents”.

(The Bookmakers / Kinovista)

Children from a city in Oslo realize that they can control the minds of adults… We fell in love with this fantastic drama about the murderous odyssey of kids who fill boredom by taking revenge on those who oppress them . The Norwegian Eskil Vogt, screenwriter very inspired by Julie in 12 chapters (2021) impresses with its mastery, in the service of a subject as singular as it is relevant when it denounces group violence in an atmosphere worthy of the Village of the Damned (1995), by Carpenter. Prize from the critics and the public at the Gérardmer Festival. S.B.

State Scandal Investigation **

By Thierry de Peretti, with Roschdy Zem, Pio Marmaï, Vincent Lindon. 2:03.

Roschdy Zem in "State Scandal Investigation".

Roschdy Zem in “Investigation into a State Scandal”.

(Les Films Velvet)

Paris, October 2015. After the seizure of seven tons of cannabis, Hubert Antoine, a former infiltrator of the anti-narcotics office, contacts a journalist from Release. He accuses his former employer, commissioner Jacques Billard, of getting involved in trafficking under the guise of a drug strategy. This third film by Thierry de Peretti, with its incessant discussions, its uncertain rhythm and its starkness, is demanding. It is no less captivating and fascinating, like the real François Thierry affair on which it is based. In the end, it is less the facts in themselves that seem to interest the director than the obsession of his improbable duo to make them public. The ambiguous relationship, made up of ongoing friendship, common determination and more or less converging interests, enlivens this sinuous and immersive story that favors the complexity of reality rather than the search for the only truth. As an ex-infiltrator full of himself, Roschdy Zem is impressive. Bap.T.

Golda Maria **

By Patrick and Hugo Sobelman. 1h55.

In 1994 the producer Patrick Sobelman filmed three days during his grandmother in a static shot, like Jacques Lanzmann for Shoah (1985). And for good reason… Survivor of the camps, she recounts her destiny as a Jew born on the borders of Poland and Germany in 1910, revives the memories of her French life until her deportation, in which she lost her son and several relatives. . This appalling testimony, shot in poor quality video, takes the form of a universal documentary enriched with striking archives. Poignant, captivating, the old lady speaks of her need to deliver the visions of horror that she has suppressed for too long. A.C.

You only want me **

By Claire Simon with Swann Arlaud and Emmanuelle Devos, 1h35.

Emmanuelle Devos and Swann Arlaud in

Emmanuelle Devos and Swann Arlaud in “You only want me”

(The Afternoon Movies)

The last companion of Marguerite Duras suffered from his exclusive relationship with his idol, a ruthless dominatrix. Suicidal, he confided in his friend Michèle Manceaux but the interview book remained unpublished for a long time (I would like to talk about Duras, 2016). It takes shape in the cinema thanks to the documentary filmmaker Claire Simon who, here, uses fiction to create the missing archive. Accomplices and composed, the actors engage in the sequence shot with enough silences and precautions for us to take the measure of this dizzying intimate confession, which reveals a Duras capable of the worst: violence, humiliation, homophobia… A.C.

White Snake **

De Amp Wong et Ji Zhao. 1h38.

“White Snake”

(Light Chaser Animation Studios Warner Bros.)

In China, the emperor yearns for eternal life. A mountain villager discovers a young woman with amnesia… This ambitious adventure story fuses tragic romanticism with tiger and dragon (2000) and martial arts film with magic and fantastic creatures, in the great tradition of Shaw Brothers productions of the 1960s. In particular by revisiting the myth of the white snake in a sprawling scenario. We stop in front of the sumptuous graphics, the artists of the Beijing Light Chaser studio meticulously restoring the grandiose landscapes of the Hunan region, which also inspired Avatar (2009). S.B.

Bulado **

D’Eche Janga, with Everon Jackson Hooi. 1h37.


(The courtyard films)

Kenza lives on the island of Curaçao with her father, a rational policeman, and her grandfather who tries to preserve their ancestral culture. Two visions of the world with which she must compose while entering adolescence. If the conflict between modernity and mysticism is nothing new, like the generational quarrels that surround it, this lovely film seduces with its poetic-sensory approach. The director, skillfully taking advantage of the splendid landscapes, summons the elements to adopt the sensations and perceptions of his young heroine. And delivers a captivating initiatory story on the weight of history, mourning, transmission and the quest for self. Bap.T.

Moonfall **

By Roland Emmerich, with Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson. 2h.


(Metropolitan FilmExport)

After serious damage during a space mission, two astronauts discover that the Moon has left its orbit and is heading towards the Earth… Roland Emmerich, with a decidedly overflowing imagination, signs a sum-film which brings together his visions of the end of the world. Result: a completely uninhibited entertainment, which is concerned neither with coherence nor with verisimilitude. A generous and enjoyable show of massive destruction, which continues the German director’s reflection on solidarity between peoples, with a deluge of special effects. S.B.

The stars *

By Jonathan Barré with Grégoire Ludig, David Marsais. 1h26.

“The stars”.


A failed singer decides to return to the spotlight by using the talent of a colleague, capable of memorizing the price of household appliances: the sesame to become the new champion of a popular game show… The Palmashow band returns to the cinema for a schoolboy but well-regarded satire on the ruthless world of the media. We have fun with the ill-matched tandem formed by the former crooner in search of success (the nonchalant Grégoire Ludig) and the model employee awaiting promotion (the candid David Marsais). Some lines really make you laugh, but the staging lacks the inventiveness to support the rhythm of the comedy. B.T.

The Skyline *

By Emilie Carpentier, with Tracy Gotoas, Sylvain Le Gall. 1h24.

"The Skyline"

“The Skyline”.

(Les Films du Lozenge)

Adja, 18, lives in a city of Villejuif. She gradually falls in love with Arthur, a young zadist fighting against the construction of a shopping center. This story of ecological awareness has the originality of combining environmental and social issues in the Parisian suburbs. Sewn with white thread, a little caricatural in places, this first film is no less pleasant and carried by the beautiful energy of its young actress, Tracy Gotoas, impeccable in flower of the asphalt with a strong character. Bap.T.