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Film Review: ‘Bloody Beans’

7 January 2014 7:19 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Taking a surprisingly effective experimental stance, Narimane Mari obliquely comments on Algeria’s War of Independence in the quasi-hallucinatory reverie “Bloody Beans.” Though it wears its metaphors too heavily at times, the pic uses a group of children tired of eating a staple diet of red beans to reflect on the high cost of colonialization and the absurdity of killing. Indebted in part to “Lord of the Flies” in its presentation of near-feral kids, the film has a performance-piece feel while still being cinematic, making it an attractive offering for cutting-edge fests.

The English-lingo title has undergone changes, first appearing as “Red Beans” (the literal translation) in Turin and “Bloody Beans” at Dubai and Cph:Dox. Even the helmer’s name has variants: Dubai’s catalogue lists her as Narimane Mari Benamer. More troubling is that Cph:Dox (where “Beans” won the main prize) and Dubai programmed the film as a docu »

- Jay Weissberg

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