12 June 2020.
QUEEN AND SLIM ****
It’s uncanny how sometimes things gravitate to each other just at the right time. Or maybe it’s that an excellent work naturally fits into the present, whenever it was written (as so many works of Shakespeare or other immortal writers), or created as a film. Quality is timeless.
We just now have the U.S. and the world shaken by the death of a black man once again brutalised by the police, with protests going on in many countries against such discrimination and constant racial profiling. The people have had it with inequality and hatred. In Geneva alone, almost 12,000 citizens came out last Tuesday to march peacefully from Place Neuve to the UN, with placards proclaiming Black Lives Matter; No Justice, No Peace; Tolerance – une Question d’Education, etc., etc…
And by chance, or not, the Grutli Cinemas are screening the film, Queen and Slim, which was made in 2019 yet somehow mirrors what recently happened to George Floyd.
This film, a sort of black “Bonny and Clyde”, starts off with a first date in a diner and escalates into a gripping road movie in which the couple are running from the police since they accidentally killed an aggressive cop who stopped them on their way home, once again because they were black.
Directed by Melina Matsuokas and starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, their escape takes them from Ohio to Florida, where they hope to get over to Cuba and safety. Along the way, their relationship grows while they meet up with all sorts of people who help them as they become a symbol of black power on the run.
With an excellent script and all sorts of quirky characters, this film is a proud anthem to an actual theme that needs to be resolved, sooner or later.
(Showing this week at the Grutli Cinemas, along with a fine retrospective of films by the great Billy Wilder until June 30th)
The Empire Cinema and the Cine17 are showing the films announced last week in this column, and the Pathe cinemas are showing all sorts of films from before the ‘confinement’, from ´DeGaulle’ to ‘Bloodshot’, ‘Judy’, and more.
Check their films and schedules on cineman.ch.
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.