🔴 Watch Premium Wislanda Louimat And Louise Labeque In Zombi Child (2019)
Date: 2020-02-28 03:47:10
Viewed: 134 times - 14 hour, 18 minute, 56 second ago
The predominant image of the zombie within Western mass culture comes from George A Romero's shocking Night of the Living Dead, arguably the most influential horror film ever made. Since then, over the decades, the 'walking corpses' have evolved to become controversial sprinters rather than proceeding in a staggering and apparently harmless way, but the image of the ghoul thirsty for human flesh has not changed much.
Long before the 1968 terror classic, the zombie had a connection with the popular folklore of certain cultures. In Haiti, for example, voodoo practices were said to be used to resurrect the dead as a source of slavery, with the "resurrected" being cruelly put to work in the island's sugar cane fields. Already in 1932, with L'isola degli zombies, cinema began to explore this disturbing tradition, but perhaps the best film ever made regarding this Haitian subcategory is Jacques Tourneur's thriller from 1943 I walked with a zombie.
Once the living dead of George A. Romero arrived, however, the original Haitian zombies were put aside, with the exception of Wes Craven's 1988 The Serpent and the Rainbow only to attempt to undermine the new setting. Hollywood (unless you count Agent 007 - Live and let die, with the very bad Baron Semedi. Now, the French director and screenwriter Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent; Nocturama) tries to slip into that furrow, further deepening the Caribbean tradition with the matt Zombi Child, presented in 2019 in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival.
The course includes time jumps between Haiti in 1962 and a girls' school in modern-day France. In the first story, a man named Claervius Narcisse (Mackenson Bijou) is 'murdered' through a voodoo practice, which makes him appear dead. He is then buried 'half alive, half corpse' and his body is exhumed to transform him into a 'brainless' worker inside a plantation, or, if you prefer, into a 'zombie'. However, the man escapes his captivity and wanders the hills of Haiti, uncertain of his place in the world. In the present, Fanny (Louise Labeque) befriends the new student Melissa (Wislanda Louimat), whose parents died in the terrible 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Now she lives with her aunt, who - as she confides to new friends, all white - she is a 'Mambo', a voodoo practitioner. As you can easily imagine, bad things will happen in the end ...
There is a comment on French colonialism and the cultural appropriation that crosses the surface of Bertrand Bonello's film, but it is never as clear-cut as it probably was in the intentions. Through Fanny's character we have a representation of how white Westerners like to choose and collect elements from 'alien' cultures. The teenager's obsession with voodoo is presented in Zombi Child as a passing fashion, as if it were a typical 'soccer mom' who accidentally discovered the sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club and believes they are perfect for keeping in the background for his social dinners with friends. He approaches Melissa's aunt (Katiana Milfort), a "Mambo" priestess, with the silly request to mix the soul of her beloved with his own, forcing the Haitian woman with the bad ones to fulfill her dangerous desire.
This could be considered satire, on the basis of what has recently been done by Jordan Peele, but Bertrand Bonello plays such cards too directly, ending up damaging his film and undermining the topic he is trying to highlight, resulting in a helpless intellectual exercise. Losing the Haitian element, ironically remains a more interesting parable on how the educational system exercises its form of zombification, breaking the free spirits of young people and transforming them into 'undead' voids ready to take their place in the cane fields sugar from the French / European company.
As well illustrated, the girls' school at the center of Zombi Child rivals Dario Argento's Suspiria ballet academy in disturbing atmospheres, with girls oddly forced to bow when greeted by a faculty member, with the cast directed in so as to seem practically devoid of any emotion, flat, reviving only in a scene in which they sing a song with a text that does not reflect their lives at all. The same founder of the school, Napoleon, is still named with the utmost admiration, and the ego of the students is caressed only by mentioning how having been able to access that structure places them at the top of French society.
Ultimately, Zombi Child ambitiously tries to mix two different films to emphasize the same point, but there is not enough flesh attached to the bones of both subplots where you can sink your teeth with gusto. However, 100 minutes remain enjoyable, especially because Bertrand Bonello confirms himself as a director with an eye and capable of visually satisfying shots, which manage to compensate for the lack of substance. Assisted by the director of photography Yves Cape, the director offers pure pleasure for the eyes, but very little food for the mind, as the topic he would have deserved (moreover, the message is rather ambiguous, with immigrants who bring real danger to Europeans.
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