“No bear”, “Saint Omer”, “Rimini”, “Inu-Oh”… The cinema releases of the week


“Saint Omer” by Alice Diop (2022).

A rich week and a world tour in five films not to be missed: No bearsby Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi; Saint-Omera French film by Alice Diop, which will represent France at the Oscars; I want to be a womana pre-Almodovar melodrama with Victoria Abril; Riminiby the Austrian Ulrich Seidl, and Inu-Hoby the Japanese Masaaki Yuasa.

“No bear”: the fabulous film in the film by Jafar Panahi

The latest feature film by Iranian Jafar Panahi, made on parole, comes out at a time when the filmmaker is purging, since July 11, a six-year sentence in Evin prison, in Tehran. Rest, No bears, awarded a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, evokes precisely the condition of persecuted artists and, at the same time, their inability to do anything other than their job. Here is a first-hand, and therefore invaluable, account where fiction and reality play cat and mouse.

Hidden in a small village in Iranian Kurdistan, on the border with Turkey, Jafar Panahi is making a film from a distance. He orchestrates the takes through the screen of his laptop. Added to this shooting story is a small village drama, treated first in a light tone, then more and more grating, oppressive. A child indeed reports having surprised the filmmaker photographing a future bride in the company of a boy other than her fiancé, and therefore in flagrant contravention of custom.

We understand that the image is at the heart ofNo bears, whose title designates, in an enigmatic formulation, the fables disseminated for the purpose of social manipulation. As for the film within the film, shot on the other side of the border, in Turkey, it tells the story of a couple of artists waiting for false papers to flee Iran. But what offstage reveals is that the actors, Zara (Mina Kavani) and Bakhtiar (Bakhtiyar Panjeei), do little more than play their own roles, torn apart by the same issues. This tension takes the metaphorical form of the border, visible from a hill, in the splendid nocturnal scene where Jafar Panahi, guided by his assistant, ventures into a smuggling zone. Ma.Mt.

Iranian film by and starring Jafar Panahi. With Naser Hashemi, Reza Heydari, Mina Kavani, Bülent Keser (1 h 46).

“Saint Omer”: a powerful post-colonial tableau

In Saint-Omer, by Alice Diop, there is the mother, and the sea, at high tide, in front of which a woman lays her 15-month-old daughter, one autumn evening, so that the waves carry her away. The accused with black skin, of Senegalese origin, finds herself in the box of the Assize Court of the small town of Pas-de-Calais, a piece of northern France damaged by the crisis. First fiction of the documentary filmmaker born in 1979 (The Death of Dantonin 2011, Towards tendernessin 2016, Wein 2021), Saint Omer is inspired by trial of Fabienne Kabouwho abandoned her child on the beach of Berck-sur-Mer, on November 19, 2013.

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