17 February 2017.
Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and got married in 1959 in a small town in Virginia. They had known each other for many years and were very happy together. The only problem was that Richard was white and Mildred was black. And mixed marriages were not legal in the state of Virginia.
This film by Jeff Nichols tells the true story of the Loving’s long struggle to seek justice and find a solution to their union, for they were determined not to separate. This is the tale of their brave, dogged fight, which took their case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, and of the 1967 judgement that overturned Virginia’s discriminatory law.
Ruth Negga as Mildred has been nominated for an Oscar, and the Australian Joel Edgerton is a quiet, gentle Richard, very unlike his brash character in “The Great Gatsby”. Here is yet another in an important series of films – such as “”12 Years a Slave”, “Selma”, “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures” – about the black struggle for equality.
ROCK ‘n ROLL *** (vo French)
Here’s a wacky parody of what it is to be an “artiste”, as the French would say. In fact, it’s a hilarious spoof created by Guillaume Canet, the famous French actor, writer and director (“Les petits mouchoirs”), very closely following his own life along with his life partner – the internationally-renowned and Oscar-anointed actress (for “La Vie en Rose”), Marion Cotillard.
The crazy premise is the insecurity of Canet, who is told by a younger actress that he just doesn’t quite have “it” anymore. He tries to compensate by coloring his hair, building up his body, and tackling a whole lot of other drastic makeovers. In the meantime Cotillard is hugely excited by a new role she has with a hip director. In her hilarious trajectory she immerses herself completely in her character, going so far as to speak only in dialect – French Canadian at that – even at home.
This is a tongue-in-cheek look at the pressures of celebrity and the delicate egos of actors. What’s wonderful is Canet’s complete lack of guile in making a fool of himself and his entourage, in the most innocent of ways. He even brings in his close friends and the great French rocker, Johnny Halliday, for some advice. You’ve got to see it to believe this lunatic delight!
RAVING IRAN **1/2 (vo Farsi)
This documentary by the German director Susanne Meures (which first came out in Nyon’s Visions du Réel doc festival in April 2016) is about two DJs in Iran, Anoosh and Arash, who love techno music but are forbidden by the Islamic Republic to hold any concerts or musical gatherings. So they go underground. It is both hopeful and painful, along with touching humor between these two close buddies.
This is their story and their music, although some portions feel somewhat contrived or manipulated by the director. For instance, the melodrama of the clandestine raves in the desert, or the cloak-and-dagger tone of their fleeing their homeland. Their journey from Iran to supposed freedom in the West is a double-edged sword, because they seem to have gone from one kind of religious confinement in their own country to another prison – the limbo and loneliness of refugee status in Switzerland.
That is the problem with some documentaries – the thin line between truth and “alternative facts”, as some call reality these days. But that is another story…
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.