1991-2000African CinemaArthouseFaouzi BensaïdiMoroccoShort Film

Faouzi Bensaïdi – La falaise AKA The Cliff (1999)

La falaise is the first short film by Faouzi Bensaïdi, a Moroccan director who has continued, after this first success already showing his special leg, with Trajet and Le mur , then feature films, including A Thousand Months , noticed at Cannes, and the last one. date, Volubilis . This film, in theaters at the moment, reveals, like La falaise , the director’s interest and concern for his country, for his pains and his peculiarities. In both works, there is an important social dimension and an exacerbated dramatic sense.

Created in 1997, La falaise seems to come from other times and dimensions. The short film follows two young orphan brothers who, to survive on a few coins, collect empty glass bottles to resell or paint the graves in the cemetery with lime. At the very beginning there emerges a kind of gaiety which emanates from them, showing that their struggle retains a naivety, a childish carelessness towards life. But we perceive from their harsh daily life, thus condensed in these few minutes of film, the difficulties of children, completely isolated from the world of adults – and in which we see no woman.

Black and white, the virtual absence of dialogues and the expressionism of gestures bring the film’s aesthetics closer to abstraction, and perhaps even allegory. Nature, very present, is filmed in an almost geometric way, often diving, diverting the geological forms to which we are used. A tree, the waves, the rock of the cliffs appear in the image in a surprising way and give the feeling that these elements are apart, beyond the world of men; a raw nature which nevertheless accompanies, for a moment, the adventures of the two brothers. One looks at the sea through a bottle and this becomes, by this pleasant and relaxing blur – the rocking of the waves, all the sounds which also have an important presence – a strange abstraction,

But this camera often placed in height does not suggest anything good and seems to be the mark of fate that will soon be played out. Nature remains despite everything that it has always been, relentless, superior to human hazards and sometimes cruel. And in La falaise , she announces the tragedy.

Léocadie Handke

72MB | 17 min 28 s | 808×344 | mkv


Language(s):No dialogue

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