At the Festival of 3 continents, in Nantes, two films to capture the barbarity of religious fundamentalism

At the Festival of 3 continents, in Nantes, two films to capture the barbarity of religious fundamentalism


A quick trip to Nantes, where the Festival of the 3 Continents is being held, an Africa-Asia-America cinephile mass, which began on Friday November 24 and continues until Sunday December 3. At the helm of the selection for thirteen years, Jérôme Baron from Nantes offers this year a cocktail of Indian “staritude” (Amitabh Bachchan), African pioneer (Safi Faye), Vietnamese anthology (little-known continent) and Taiwanese new wave (Ann Hui). . There are also ten feature films of the year in competition, gleaned from international festivals, and relaunched here for a first national exhibition.

For the better and for the much less better, the choice of a certain aesthetic tenuity is blatant, which dooms these titles to remain, given the economic tightening of French distribution, in this parallel reality that we call “films festival”. Two very fine feature films thus flew over the debates, the documentary Le Specter de Boko Haram , by the Cameroonian Cyrielle Raingou, and the fiction Critical Zone , by the Iranian Ali Ahmadzadeh, which respectively won this year’s Golden Tiger in Rotterdam (Netherlands), and the Golden Leopard in Locarno (Switzerland).

Beyond this festival wildness, something more essential brings these two films together, which each confront the barbarity of religious fundamentalism and therefore question the way in which cinema can represent it. Obviously a tricky question. If the two works partly draw their common strength from refusing the grace of the image, we cannot imagine answers further apart from each other than theirs. Cyrielle Raingou, by filming in the village of Kolofata, in the north of the country, children whose parents were massacred or kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram, thus chooses a humanism that does not disarm.

“The situation in the region has been amply documented politically , she recalls. I wanted to do what had not been done, by making people feel the human tragedy of the victims of terrorism, and more particularly of children, who are without filter, without a miserable pose, incredibly affected but incredibly alive. » In fact, his approach, humble and sensitive, without pathos, produces a sort of inventory à la Prévert which suggests, even in the stigmata of tragedy, the reverie of eternal childhood, even if it were protected by the troops of elite of the Cameroonian regime.

An urban road trip on acid

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