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The Playlist

MIFF '12 Reviews: Miguel Gomes' 'Tabu' & Kim Nguyen's 'War Witch'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • August 20, 2012 2:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Gomes' Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner is an evocative, lyrical two-chapter love story separated by decades and continents that transcends what initially seems to be nothing more than an experiment in style over substance. Beginning in modern day-ish Lisbon, we are introduced to Aurora, an old woman mentally and physical deteriorating, in an equally frightening and hilarious performance by Laura Soveral. On her death bed, Aurora mentions a lover's name which is written off by two companions (her maid and an empathetic neighbour) as nonsense but, upon discovery of this man's actual existence and his arrival to the hospital, the film transports into a dreamy, fairytale-like flashback to the pair's African-set romance that audaciously couples the existing black and white, 4:3 and 16mm photography with a world where there's little-to-no spoken dialogue and narrated by Gian Luca (Carlotta Cotta with v.o. by Gomes himself) -- a character abrutly introduced only seconds before.

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