Film Movement: Thierry de Peretti’s “Les Apaches” & Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ “To Kill a Man”

AP 7If there’s one thing to be learned from Film Movement’s latest two releases it’s that guns are dangerous. Whether they’re being shot by an inexperienced child (Les Apaches), or by a bullied father protecting his family (To Kill a Man), the consequences of firing one at another human will inevitably be a dramatic one.

Apaches

Image 8Apaches is a movie that simply goes too far for its own good, not in terms of being too controversial, but more so in its drastic second-half tonal shift, in where what started off as a tight knit story of class struggle – as seen through the eyes of local Corsican teens – turns into a tacked-on murder narrative. Either the first half or the second half of the movie would have worked great as a 40-minute short, but by the time the movie’s most striking final image arrives I was left feeling a bit confused as to why I was taken down such a drastic path to get there.

To Kill a Man

IMG_5214To Kill a Man tells the true story of how one man’s fear for the safety of his family led him to commit murder. And that right there is the entire movie. No added subplot, no tricky twists, no laughs, and worst of all, no thrills. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a rice cake. I’m all for keeping it simple, in fact I often find that movies which strive for simplicity have the most to say. This is not the case here though. Maybe if I were more learned of Chilean culture I would have been able to extract some kind of metaphorical meaning from it all, but then again maybe not.

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