“Onoda”, “Bonne Mère”, “Digger”: winning trifecta in theaters

In the middle of the summer season, which is usually quieter, and despite the uncertainties that again weigh on the conditions of access to theaters, a flood of films falls on the big screens. Among them, many were scheduled and noticed at the Cannes Film Festival, which ended on July 17.

Joining many of the important titles of this Cannes edition (Annette, Benedetta, Bergman Island, Titanium, Tuoa’s Journal), two other films noticed on the Croisette will be showing from July 21, Onoda and Good mother, like the very remarkable Digger, to discover.

“Onoda, 10,000 nights in the jungle”, d’Arthur Harari

Second feature film byArthur Harari after the thriller Black Diamond, Onoda bears the name of this officer of the imperial Japanese army sent in 1944 to an island in the Philippines, and who refused to surrender, leading an almost solitary guerrilla in the jungle for thirty years.

The film is not only based on a true story, but on very concrete elements to reconstruct the conditions in which Lieutenant Hiro Onoda, having refused to believe in defeat, led a tiny troop gradually reduced until he was left alone.

But just as much as its realism, the film openly claims the references of the war film, the great adventures in the jungle, with also sometimes a zest of spy film, its success due to the way in which it stands at the crossroads of the reenactment and fiction.

We think of Adventure in Burma by Raoul Walsh as at The 317e Section by Pierre Schoendoerffer, even more than by Conrad and Apocalypse Now: if it is indeed the evocation of a kind of delirium, it is in no way a metaphysical metaphor. The power – romantic power, fictional power and even fabulous power – ofOnoda is to be on the contrary very concrete, very material.

It also resonates with very contemporary echoes, in particular in the way of fabricating explanatory regimes in accordance with his beliefs – the alter reality of conspirators of all stripes, if not of everyone -, even if the film does not never deviates from causal links which may have had their rationality, or their appearance of rationality.

Thanks also to the remarkable interpretation of the main actor, Yûya Endô, and to a staging capable of an inspired lyricism to evoke the survival of this handful of humans devoid of everything in a nature of extreme power, Arthur Harari succeeds in a breathless fresco.

In Onoda, the fact of knowing that it relies practically constantly on proven facts is only the plank of appeal of its fictional impetus. But it’s good to jump higher and further into the real world of how the human mind works.

“Good Mother”, by Hafsia Herzi

Filming a place where she grew up, the northern districts of Marseille, the actress-turned-director Hafsia Herzi composes around a very strong mother figure, played by Halima Benhamed, a group portrait of a family that is the the author who says so, looks like hers.

If it does not embellish anything, the film refuses to add to the omnipresence of poverty, criminal practices, violence, machismo, absolute veneration of family ties, and is thus situated in a very tonality. far from what fiction cinema almost always does in this context.

Far from these facilities which are the common lot of almost all “City films”, Good mother looks at the same time generous, nuanced and uncompromising on a world which is usually only entitled to invisibility or to clichés.

The filmmaker thus tells about a world which lives in fact apart from the other, without ignoring it, by dealing with it and occasionally by doing business there, but by reducing its influences as much as possible.

Around this maternal figure holding a very mixed, very composed wisdom, the film reveals the vast range of behaviors and representations active in what is, within the very perimeter of a large city like Marseille, a world apart. .

«Digger», by Georgis Grigorakis

From the outset it is the physical presence, of humans and of the elements, which impresses in the first film of the Greek director. The power of the storm that opens Digger, the frightening materiality of the mudslides that threaten the house in the woods where the man who will turn out to be the main character lives, saturates the imagination as well as the image and the soundtrack with their strength.

Just like this guy, Nikitas, who fights like hell against whatever attacks his way of life. The landslides are not the result of chance but the result of massive deforestation due to the extension of the gigantic mine, and which does not shrink from any maneuver to also get its hands on the territory of Nikitas.

In open war against the big business, against the inhabitants of the village who accepted the offers of the mining company, also at war against a hard and lonely existence very different from the rustic utopia which had led him to settle far from the big city, Nikitas will find himself yet another enemy.

Long gone far away, his son returns one day on his motorbike, like the solitary rider whose presence does not surprise in a film which also borrows explicitly from the motives of the western. He wants his share of a heritage of which he knows nothing, nor wants to know anything.

From this web of conflicts, in which a young woman will also find a very lively place, Georgis Grigorakis succeeds in making a constantly inhabited film, where the secondary characters immediately acquire an existence.

Digger vibrates internally with these multiple ways of capturing active powers, natural powers (forest, mud, light and shade, silence), affective powers (loneliness, desire, greed, anger, disappointment , friendship) as well as collective powers, around the clash between predatory business and environmental protection, but also between dreams and realities of a different life.

Onoda, 10,000 nights in the jungle

d’Arthur Harari

avec Yûya Endô, Kanji Tsuda, Yuya Matsuura


Duration: 2h47

Release July 21, 2021

Good mother

by Hafsia Herzi

avec Halima Benhamed, Sabrina Benhamed, Jawed Hannachi Herzi, Justine Gregory, Mourad Tahar Boussatha


Duration: 1h36

Release July 21, 2021


by Georgis Grigorakis

with Vangelis Mourikis, Argyris Pandazaras, Sofia Kokkali


Duration: 1h41

Release July 21, 2021

Source: Slate.fr by www.slate.fr.

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