Drama2011-2020Antoine BourgesCanada

Antoine Bourges – Fail to Appear (2017)

Isolde, a social worker in a poor district in Toronto, is on her first case assignment; the administrative procedures she follows have us feel the burden of an action that is nonetheless professionally codified – that of helping someone. Her “client” is still behind bars and at first, he only appears in their correspondence and the phone calls she makes on his behalf. Behind its legal meaning, the title underlines this absence: Eric Edwards is averse to appearing in court and seems equally impervious to Isolde’s solicitude. Besides, where does this vague desire to help strangers who are sometimes mentally unstable, lie or are in a permanent state of denial, come from? Isolde brings an answer when she mentions her literary studies to her colleague: she likes novels because of their characters; her profession transfers this empathy onto real people. Her colleague’s irony shouldn’t fool us: Antoine Bourges may well deliver here the key to this original re-enactment, which continues his short film, East Hastings Pharmacy, screened at Cinéma du Réel in 2012. The actors re-enact scenes that he has seen in reality or improvise “on existing protocols”, as the filmmaker says. Some profile shots of Isolde, silent and concentrated facing Eric, or the shot of him alone at his place, with his head on the table, take on an iconic force. They belie the title by having these beings actually appear.

2.81GB | 1h 7m | 1920×1080 | mkv


Subtitles:English, French, Spanish


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