Chapter VI – With a French accent

For the first time in its 25 editions, the Malaga Festival opens up to European cinema with a new section entitled +Malaga, International Premieres, where according to the official version “you can enjoy non-Latin American films that have garnered important awards at festivals and that have not yet been released in Spain.” Among the six films selected for the occasion -all of them European- we find two French productions with much in common, ‘A new world‘ by StĂ©phane BrizĂ© and ‘Promises in Paris‘ by Thomas Kruithoff. Both, basically, revolve around the exercise of power. In the first we follow the director of a factory of a French company that a few years ago was absorbed by a North American multinational. In the second we talk about a mayor whose mandate is about to end without her having achieved her main political purpose. One is brought to life by Vincent Lindon, the other by Isabelle Huppert. Needless to say, both fulfill the role of two people who, although apparently they are the ones in charge, are actually at the mercy of other factors and people over whom they have no control. And both of them, contrary to who they are supposed to be, when the time comes they are capable of… lying. No bad faith. But you tell whoever becomes the mistake of a doctor who had done that same operation a million times without incident. Both films would become estimable x-rays of what power is. A power that is seldom, if not never, unlimited: Accountability is always required, whether by numbers or voters. Whether it is within a private system or whether it is within a public system. The rules are for everyone, and unfortunately, they are not always the most appropriate to satisfy the majority of people. If most. Because everyone is never going to be happy. Never. And in the middle of that complicated and complex balance, both are managed. Two productions, ‘A new world‘ and ‘Promises in Paris‘, which despite presenting themselves and behaving as honest and truthful portraits are still two films. Two works that stir up the hornet’s nest for an hour and a half with great elegance and education, but ultimately don’t dare or don’t want to go any further. That is, we all have a conscience even though the world is a capitalist and bureaucratic shit where the important thing is appearances, not so much reality. It is already known: It is not what there is, it is how you sell it (and they want to buy it from you). That neither of us sticks like a sword into our conscience is nothing more than a reflection of what is there, being as we are some “mandaos” at the service of others. It is what it is, and the system encompasses the good and the bad as if there were no difference. It’s the market, man. And so we will continue swallowing shit until everything bursts. Or not. Meanwhile the wheel will continue to turn and characters like Vincent Lindon and Isabelle Huppert, with or without conscience, will continue to be the same wimps as you and me. Only much better paid.

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