Abdel latif Keshis is a Tunisian immigrant, and that I belive is the starting point if any,
If we start talking about his movies, we must look at the outsider, the man who came from an ex French colonial Tunisia, to France, established as one of its leaders, and made movies as diversified from one another. Movies like:”The secret of the Grain”(2007), or “Games of chance”, or the historical period drama “Black Venus”-His first English speaking feature(2010), and his latest Palm d’or Cannes winner-“;La vie d’Adel”. Started as an actor, a job he returns to once in a while, Keshish was a stage and film actor since 1978, and in 2000, started making movies.
Keshis’s cinematic inspirtion are the Japanes Master Yasaziro Ozu’s films. In fact, there are some resemblance. The family’s ujnmit, the humor which sometimes excist, the long takes, but the resenmblance stops Because his movies, aren’t that sunny and optimistic. Whreas Ozu is optimistic, Keshis is not. He’s sober and realist, sometimes harshly so. Ozu never intended to be a Disney like weaver of stories, but he offers some consolation, in Keshsis, the consolation isn’t on the surface.
His latest movie”Lav ie d’Adele”, caused Lea Saydeau one of his stars to poenly accuse him in tyranny, and tearfuly she vowed ,that hey never worked, Keshihs disowned her, and the movie. It’s very tempramental of him., and I think even somewhat childish. Adel Exaechopoulos, the main actress, acted as a responsible adult, and told that, yes Mr. Keshish, is or was exacting, but the movie is great, and she didn’t suffer that much.
I saw rthe movie, and frankly couldn’t get why Seydoux (Whose father is the president of Pathe’, and is one of the most influential men in the French film industry), gave such an aggresive statements.
The film has its drawbak, one, that I can think of, is that its long 179 minutes tend to kill the sponatnity and freshness of this film. Sometimes it seemed to me that its long minutes design to make me. at least, sleepy, and on the other hand the movie has dinamics of its own. Based on two chapters of Julie Maron’s book:”Blue is the warmest colur”,(Ms. Maron, attacked the film as unfaithful, )- but, the movie co- written by Gahlia La croix,, an actress, editor and long associate of Keshish, doesn’t strike me as anti-feminist and mysiogenic. The movie deal with lesbian love, with awakening of a young highschool girl, named Adele, who cross the youth to young womanhood. The movie begins when she’s 18, and its final stages find her at 24, a teacher for first graders and a woman.
Her lover, who eventually walks out on her, is an art student named Emma. A Blue haired free spirited Lesbian, who introduced Adele to the lesbian life, and finally, has a district social agendas of her own, which caused her to betray Adele for another lesbian fron=m a middle class surrounding, like her. The Social barrier is afeature which makes tje movie far morepotent, it dosen’t stress it, or emphasize it in a radical manner, but it’s there, present’ like the Elephant in the room , it charge and cause conciderable damage in the movie’s climax..
Sensiutive, without resorting to cheap tricks or pornography,we witness a life of two women, from late adolescense, to an early womanhood. The erotic lesbian 12 minute scene is graphic, but not sensational.
The acting superb, every single actor and actress deliver a sound performance, Adele Exaechopoulos, a young inexprienced actress, gives a fully nuanced performance, while Lea Seydoux, is a contrapunctual performer, whose Emma has all the gamuts from anarchic, funny woman, to a sister like, than lover, than a vulnerable, treacherous haridan, flashing her middle class prejudice, who finally reach a serenity in her life.The Cannes Jury did justice, when he gave them the 2013 ensemble award, for these two actresses does an ensable job which is superb, and carry the film throughout its rather elphantine long time..
So after I watched it, and loved it, in spite of the rather over long film, I still don’t get it, why Mr. Keshihs is the bad guy here? I can’t think that his racial background is the issue here.