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[CRITICAL 1] DIVINE

Find our negative criticism of the film, here

For the one who receives it, the Golden Camera may be a reward more pleasurable even than the Palme d’or. It celebrates a first film, embodies a talent and opens the doors to a next realization… Then when Houda benyamina l receives her award, she took the time and space, and launches an explosive” We’re here, it means that it is possible !“. His voice of reason and reminds us of the rage of the ” we must dare to be rich “, the leitmotif that it gives to say to the heroines of his film. Houda benyamina l, force of nature, has dared to, she fought and won its place among the intelligentsia in cannes – then it comes from the 93. But this price is above all the conquest of a woman in a man’s world, which recalls that at the time of the 69th Cannes film festival, only a single Palme d’or was awarded to a woman since 1993 (The piano, Jane Campion). This lesson of life and this revolt, intimate that the director exults, it is also the revolt of a whole generation, in that it reveals in his movie, fierce determination to fight against destiny. The DIVINE, or the history of the women who decide to take their fates to arm the body.

Dunia lives in the suburbs of paris. Between the sight of his mother, ridiculed and studies that will lead to bondage and a MINIMUM wage with which she can never realize his dreams, it smothers and kills the time with Maimouna to spy on the troupe of dancers in the area. But one day it is too, the vise that tightens the choke, it sends all walking around to make the “money”. The caïd of the city is called Rebecca, Dunia decided to approach him and engage in business…

DIVINE is first and foremost a story of daughters, sisters, hearts, and galleys, bulimic and angry to create their own scores so that their fates lead them inevitably into secondary roles. Three female figures at the heart of the asphalt looking forward, we think sometimes to girls Strip from Céline Sciamma, because here also it holds up Rihanna as a standard, although in the DIVINE, that could have been called Rebels, we prefer to play Scarface !

Even if the director stands in the backdrop of a portrait of the urban areas or the non-right, small trades, the underground economy and the social misery gangrènent up to the possibility of the dream, what the DIVINE does, that one is not mistaken there, it has nothing in common with what has already been done on the cities. It is not yet another film about the suburbs that goes wrong, on the contrary ; the DIVINE will to seek the spark, the pulse of life and the found. Houda benyamina l propels us into a new dimension of the “cinema of suburbs” through a tale that would have the DNA of the movement Neither Whores Nor Submissives, yet without addressing the political pamphlet. No ambition to “denounce”, but to shoot at the height of a woman, a friendship story where the heroes are heroines, and where honor, courage, and the shots are more components phallic but clitoridiennes. The three actresses also fall the upper-hand the challenge of the first film as actresses. Deborah Lukumuena (Maimouna), Jiska Kalvanda (Rebecca) and Oulaya Amamra (Dunia) embody a heroic trio truculent, between authenticity, seriousness, and freshness. Oulaya Amamra , which is none other than the sister of the producer is needed as the true revelation of THE film, and is definitely an actress to follow.

“Art will save the world” Dostoevsky

Houda benyamina l immerses us in the microcosm peri-urban women, or the wandering, the despair and resignation do not find respite in the faith. To the extent it chooses to show the light and, more particularly, to hope that sometimes succeeds miraculously to spring up and take everything. To this end, it embraces the premise extremely hard to redefine the concept of the Sacred by building its story around the idea of transcendence. In the word “divine” , there is “divine” and DIVINE hijacks the concept of a belief (be it religious, deterministic or sociological) and sets a new watermark, a far greater and perennial that would be of the order of Art. Here the top sphere that elevates and restores meaning to the lives is called the dance. Dounia is fascinated, she watched a troop in secret, to the shelter of the heights of the theatre like a sky in which one takes refuge, and makes the experience of contemplation. The theater becomes a temple close friend, the new altar of sanctification of the living world, a new mosque for a new cult, that of the human condition. The dance is a substitute religion, is becoming the access of sensory, spiritual and mystic par excellence, which opens to life and love… The Art of the dance it is also a more tangible means by which we can one day get out of the city or where we can dominate his enemy. Houda benyamina l proposes a transfer of value and endorsed the idea of a theology of artistic and terrestrial.

“That one is not mistaken there, the Divine has nothing in common with what has already been done on the cities. It is not a film about the suburbs that goes wrong, on the contrary, Houda benyamina l will look for the spark, the pulse of life and finds it.”

But there is not that this new understanding of the sacred that is rocking in the film of’Houda benyamina l. It brings the violence inherent to the social deprivation dimension drive, as an instinct of survival extremely bright. In the DIVINE there is no question of any clash or bands of wandering in petty crime to kill the boredom in which the vacuum could estomaquer. In the DIVINE there is a question of a battle just as much inner as against the world, the filmmaker invites us to experience the simultaneous issuance of the resilience and the journey of initiation in his quest for sobriety, strength and passion. Houda benyamina l looks eminently humanist on the world and prefer to celebrate the individual for the benefit of the pious. If his film upsets although it does not seem to wear a specific message it is, in fact, because it sanctifies, even in the last scene the human connection and makes us wonder about the notion of brotherhood and hope.

Side realization DIVINE strike hard, the shape is in the image of his story : dazzling and elated. Houda benyamina l opts for a camera sharp and rides the wave of ultra-urbano-contemporaries as plans smartphones “snapchat” which propel the film in a dimension that is extremely real, and hyper-empathic. Images of bitumen and violence tangle with the dissonance of songs of opera, we think back to Dheepan but the DIVINE is built into a singularity, a unique aura that is shaped by a rhythm of a narrative quick, spontaneous, full of humour and seriousness. It constantly oscillates between the attempt and the moment of grace…the DIVINE puts us a slap in the face.

In the DIVINE, Houda benyamina l redistributes the roles and values without ever losing its point of view : questioning the reality of women down here. Through Dounia we imagine, of course, the path of the director of the cultural center of Bobigny, Cannes. DIVINE is a first film, but has already all the film’s copyright, a tone, a paw and the rare ability to capture a truth. The Camera d’or is awarded to the talent, the Palme d’or is awarded to a conclusion, let us hope, Houda benyamina l may be the next woman director to receive the ultimate prize.

Sarah Benzazon

See the negative review of the DIVINE and the interview of the team of the film

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