Michel Deville – La maladie de Sachs AKA Sachs’ Disease (1999)
This absorbing and intimate portrait of an ordinary town doctor is characteristic of Michel Deville’s cinema: sombre, slow moving, filled with humanity, and unashamedly naturalistic.
Albert Dupontel is captivating as the film’s central character, Dr Sachs, conveying not just the sense of ennui of a man who is locked into a life he no longer appreciates, but also his yearning for some kind of release, for the fulfilment that has so far eluded him. It is an underplayed, introspective, spiritual kind of film, focused exclusively on Sachs’ daily routine and his matter-of-fact interactions with his patients. The repetitive nature of the consultations, the drab colour scheme and the dreary locations do weigh the film down by they emphasise the sense of aching emptiness that is apparently pushing Sachs towards self-destruction.
The does film somehow ends on an optimistic note – Sachs finds someone to take care of his “ailment” and his life is given the meaning that it had previously lacked. In some ways, it is just a conventional love story, but it is told in the most unconventional way, through the understated feelings of believable characters, and bled from the tacit realism of everyday situations.
1.51GB | 1h 43m | 1015×432 | mkv