This week at the cinema, couples are formed off the coast of Scotland between two cripples of life in The shadow of a lie, of Bouli Lanners, the families stick together, like that, Egyptian, of featherswhose father is transformed, overnight, into a chicken, and the lovers attack with a knife, as in the shadowy Bruno Reidalauthor of a bloody murder in Cantal at the beginning of the 20th centuryand century.
“Feathers”: Kafkaesque pothole
Wherever you look at it, it is with something stubbornly new that feathers presents itself to us, after its passage through Cannes and Critics’ Week, in July 2021. Where young international auteur cinema is often awash in references, this pointing, irretrievable object seems to invent in its corner a language well to him, abrupt and uppercut. Coming from Egypt, it is the work of a young director, Omar El Zohairy, born in 1988, who signs his first feature film there, after two remarkable shorts.
feathers is a scathing fable about everyday misery. In a factory housing estate, a mother watches over her worker husband and their three children. During the eldest’s birthday party, a clumsy magician performs a crap trick, during which the husband, engulfed in a trunk, disappears, replaced by a hen. Has he transformed? Nothing says it, but everything suggests it for the poor housewife who finds herself alone, her toddlers on her arms, and, in place of the man on whose favor the surrounding society is built, this stupid gallinaceous as cabbage which is no longer enough to pocket the salary of the month.
Then begins for her a real obstacle course, where the slightest penny is counted. With explosive brutality and dark burlesque, feathers describes a Kafkaesque world without solidarity where everything is money and where institutions walk on the head. Mathieu Macheret
Egyptian, French, Dutch and Greek film by Omar El Zohairy. With Demyana Nassar, Samy Bassouny, Fady Mina Fawzy, Abo Sefen Nabil Wesa, Mohamed Abd El Hady (1h52).
“The Shadow of a Lie”: love syncope
At 56, Bouli Lanners finally surrenders to feelings. Leaving aside his tongue-in-cheek humor that marked his previous films with a pleasant fantasy (Eldorado ; Giants ; The First, the Last), the actor and director allows himself his first great love story. He went for this in Scotland, and more precisely on the Isle of Lewis – a piece of land beaten by the winds and the rains, governed by the very austere Presbyterian Church, shunned by tourists.
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