Bruno Dumont to be paid tribute at FICCI 58

with a complete retrospective

The iconic French director will be paid tribute in the upcoming edition of the Cartagena International Film Festival which will take place from February 28 to March 5. His tribute includes a complete retrospective of his work as a director, characterized, in his first films, by an unembellished reality, without artifice or staging –a much more boorish world at times, in which people do not hide their dark side, their fears, their defects. Dumont will give a masterclass on Sunday March 4, at Salón FICCI.
Bruno Dumont was born in 1958 in Bailleul, on the north of France. His vision proposes a narrative constructed from the visual, where people are almost another element of the landscape, or in any case “something”, that only makes sense when inserted in a shot and moving in it. Even though his filmmaking is rooted in a very concrete reality, often with unprofessional actors, his films eschew social realism.

For Dumont, having studied philosophy in his early college years, focusing on the history of religions and film aesthetics, cinema may be another way of philosophizing. He learned to work as a director by working on films that were assigned to him. Perhaps because of this training, his films bring up more questions than answers, forming an overlapping road into the complex human essence that ranges from his more cutting, forceful films to comedies and even musicals, as in his most recent film Jeanette.

His first two films, La vie de Jésus (1997) winner of the Golden Camera, and Humanité (1999), winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, both of which he shot in his small hometown, established him as a singular filmmaker aesthetically and morally confronted with contemporary French productions. The protagonism accorded to male characters in his first films he soon began to share (Flandres, Hors Satan) or altogether yield (Twentynine Palms, Hadewijch, Camille Claudel 1915, Jeannette) to females, portraying them in a permanent search and fight against their own demons, while men manifest their frustrations and fears in bursts of violence. Violence. More common in man than in woman? It would seem as if this question were implicit in his films.

Realistic for some, depressing for others, Dumont allowed his comedic vein to flower in P’tit Quinquin (2014) and Ma Loute (2016), without putting aside the same underlying questions, the same human restlessness, the same beast in different clothes, perhaps even more dangerous. Dumont’s films are, above all, the emotional state that they convey, the uneasiness they leave, the aridity and the coarseness of his landscapes and those who inhabit them: average, run-of-the-mill, clumsy, everyday human beings; heroes and villains, tender and cruel.