Pacifiction

  • 165'
  • France
  • 2022

“Politics is like a nightclub.” This line from the world-weary anti-hero De Roller (a superb Benoît Magimel) points to the core of Pacifiction. He is High Commissioner in present-day French Polynesia, spending his time wandering between meetings (official and otherwise), bars, and breathtaking island spots.

De Roller, never without his snazzy white suit on, is part of a social set that exists in a bubble of privilege. But now that the world is changing, and the indigenous inhabitants resist a resurgence in nuclear testing, what’s to become of the remnants of this empire? Like the screen tales of colonialism previously conjured by Claire Denis (Beau travail IFFR 2001), this one evokes a decadent ritual artificially maintained long beyond its glory days. Ennui and paranoia have set in, and there are vague hints of a conspiracy involving the Chinese, Russians or Americans.

Filmmaker Albert Serra alters his course with this new work, approaching a more conventional form and delivering it without his usual provocations. Yet he holds back from totally seducing us: the enigmatic intrigue tantalises with hints of eroticism and violence that are never fully shown, as the film drifts into a disarming, dreamlike mood.

 

Adrian Martin

Director
Albert Serra
Premiere
Dutch Premiere
Countries of production
France, Spain, Germany, Portugal
Year
2022
Festival Edition
IFFR 2023
Length
165'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Tourment sur les îles
Languages
French, English
Producers
Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Laurent Jacquemin, Albert Serra, Montse Triola, Dirk Decker, Andrea Schütte, Joaquim Sapinho, Marta Alves
Production Companies
Idéale Audience, Archipel Productions, Andergraun Films, Tamtam Film, Rosa Filmes
Sales
Films Boutique
Screenplay
Albert Serra
Cinematography
Artur Tort
Editor
Albert Serra, Artur Tort, Ariadna Ribas
Production Design
Sebastián Vogler
Sound Design
Jordi Ribas
Music
Marc Verdaguer, Joe Robinson
Cast
Benoît Magimel, Pahoa Mahagafanau, Marc Susini, Matahi Pambrun, Sergi López
Local Distributor
Imagine Filmdistributie Nederland