An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.
Three women, all strangers to each other, meet in a dress boutique. One of the three is approached by the male proprietor as she is shoplifting a garment. When he approaches her the other ... See full summary »
Set in 1999, a woman (Dommartin) has a car accident with some bank robbers, who enlist her help to take the bank money to a drop in Paris. On the way she runs into another fugitive from the... See full summary »
Collection of short films the summaries of which include; a foreign man moving to Italy, getting married and having a child; a four split scene short involving plot-less images of old ... See full summary »
Contre l'Oubli (Against Oblivion) is a compilation of 30 French filmmakers, Alain Resnais and Jean Luc Godard among them, who use film to make a plea on behalf of a political prisoner. Jean... See full summary »
In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »
Sophie comes to New York from France with the intention of joining a man she met a few months before. She finds herself alone in the apartment of the guy, who left town because he was ... See full summary »
This film travels through fantasy and reality as Ivens goes to China to capture the Wind. The film reflects the film maker's journey - from his first film on the wind (Pour Le Mistral)to ... See full summary »
Natives of Benin and the West Indies, Dah and Jocelyn form a fine team. Dah is convinced that this time, luck smiles on them. They begin working for a restauranteur who organizes clandestine cockfights in the basement of his establishment. Confined all day long in the restaurant's basement, they train their rooster, a future champion named "S'en fout la mort". Written by
Brutal depiction of depravity courtesy of Claire Denis
I think, and have thought for awhile now, that Claire Denis is truly a filmmaker to watch. I think that she's one of a sorrowfully small handful of modern filmmakers (including Atom Egoyan and Tran Anh Hung) that may go on to make some truly incredible works of art. With each passing film I think that she gets closer to a fully mature style. I think that "No Fear, No Die" is one of the lesser films she's done - that I've seen anyway - but that's not an insult. Far from it, because I found the film to be an eye-opening depiction of the truly vicious practice of cockfighting. It is also, on a larger scale, a portrait of a man who is surrounded by depravity and violence and who, because he has not totally de-sensitized himself to it like those around him, cannot help but let it affect him until he finally snaps.
Two West African brothers in France make their living training cocks to become killing machines. When recruited by a bar owner who wants to open up his own "ring," the brothers set out selecting and training the animals. Denis obviously did her homework - her depiction of the rigorous training sessions is meticulous. Actually, the film is extraordinarily realistic and also extraordinarily graphic. I was shocked when, at the end of the film, the words "no animals were harmed during the making of this film" appeared on the screen. I'm still a little skeptical. The brothers themselves are both very different, yet they have a very strong bond. Jocelyn is the one who is most experienced at what they do, kind of like the Yoda of cockfighting. Dah is the one that handles finances, etc. Ironically, though, it is Jocelyn who is susceptible to acts of conscious because it is he who is most experienced and it is he who spends all day with the birds - and becomes almost a sort of father figure to them - only to watch them butchered in the ring. The title "No Fear, No Die" comes from the name that Jocelyn gives to the prize bird, the champion, a bird who until the end seems invincible.
Gandhi once said that the true measure of how civilized a society is can be found by looking at how it treats its animals. The message of "No Fear, No Die" seems to be that disregard of and insensitivity towards the lives of animals leads to insensitivity on a greater scale. Jocelyn lets in get to him and leads him to an act of near-homicide. In a modern age in which the peoples of "civilized" nations have become so de-sensitized because of their cultures of excess, we are steadily running headfirst into the brink of our own self-destruction. But no one, it seems, can afford to give a damn.
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