Ariel Kleiman explores the end of innocence in Partisan

Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan, one of my favourite films of the year, is on DVD now from Madman Films. Check out my review of it here

Monumental Pictures

Partisan, a coming-of-age morality play, starts with an origin story. A road in a rural area, a dilapidated expanse of housing. It may be muddy and run down and even slightly familiar, but there’s something in the air that is magical, that places it outside the realm of reality and in childhood fantasies. A man (Gregori, played by Vincent Cassel) hoists a bunch of wood onto his back. The camera watches, focused on his scarred back as he constructs a world in blank rooms lit by candles. He builds a table of marble and the wood, somehow against nature able to lift it. Then, he goes out to a local hospital, walking the hallways until he spies just what he wants. An heir (Alexander, played as an 11-year-old by Jeremy Chabriel). The sequence is the most fantastical in the film. With choral music intensifying and few words, it feels…

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