A strange and destabilizing fable about parenthood, this fantastic series revisits the ancestral folklore of New York.
A pillar of Scandinavian and Celtic folklore, the term “changeling” designates a baby kidnapped by fantastical creatures – trolls, fairies, elves -. And replaced by a decoy. This legend is revisited in today’s New York, concreted and filled with skyscrs in the series The Changeling, adaptation inspired by the fantasy novel by Victor LaValle. The writer is also the cavernous narrator of this horrific tale.
Thirty African-Americans, living in Harlem, Appolo and Emma find their relationship turned upside down by the arrival of their newborn, Brian. The crying and lack of sleep plunge Emma into sudden mood swings. Soon, she rejects the infant, pretends he is not hers and spends her days on occult websites. Beneath her symptoms of postpartum depression may be brewing more sinister forces.
The gate to hell
In line with Rosemary’s Baby and of The Fourth Dimension, the skill of this hypnotic and destabilizing story rests on growing doubt. The paranormal is slowly infiltrating. Appolo (Lakeith Stanfield, The Haunted Mansion) and Emma (Clark Backo) are they caught up by their traumatic childhood marked by absent fathers and death? Is Emma paying for having, during a trip to Brazil, provoked an old woman who calls herself a witch? The fantastic here allows us to examine the earthquake that constitutes fatherhood and motherhood. “Parental love sweeps away everything in its path, awakens our primal fears, stirs up a visceral desire for protection. Something foreign, something new that must be appropriated”points out director Jonathan Van Tulleken.
With his colleague Melina Matsoukas, he exalts a forgotten and phantasmagorical Big Apple. “This city was built on the beliefs of migrants who, century after century, crossed the Atlantic in search of a better life and the New World. » Jonathan Van Tulleken found rocky outcrops in the middle of an urban jungle that appear to have been built by giants. He also skirted the wild shores and abandoned North Brother Island which sailors nicknamed the gate to hell. Formerly home to a sanatorium, the place is now a bird sanctuary.
Bathed in the aesthetics of the 19th century illustratore century John BauerThe Changeling questions the irrational part of superstition that lies dormant in each of us. The dizziness between modernity and Gothic is total.