Tuesday 6 December at 7pm
The Elizabeth Picture Theatre
Pacifiction, Albert Serra, 2022, 164m
On the island of Tahiti, the newly arrived High Commissioner and French government official De Roller is a calculating man with flawless and affable manners. His somewhat broad perception of his role brings him to navigate the high end ’establishment’ as well as shady venues where he mingles with the locals. Especially since a persistent rumour has been going around that he first denies before beginning to investigate: the sighting of a submarine whose ghostly presence could herald the return of French nuclear testing.
Humid and paranoid, Pacifiction skirts the central conspiracy to focus on interstitial moments. People dance and drink, conversations descend into bureaucracy and misdirection, while the general appearance, disappearance and relationship of people is hard to separate from island life. Saturated in red, green and blue, the island overwhelms its inhabitant and the film itself, becoming hypnotically suggestive of abstract menace and colonialist history. A narcotic ambient thriller grounded in torpor and one of the key films of 2022.
With thanks to Films Boutique