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Brian J. Smith,
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Bryce Dallas Howard
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Annecy is no tourist destination for three working-class Algerian brothers and their father, in the months after their mother has died. Marc is deeply troubled: he tries to stiff drug ... See full summary »
The filmmaker starts off with an intriguing premise. How much would love flourish if we lived in a world uncomplicated by belief systems that thrive on shame and conformity? In my eyes, the filmmaker is a dreamer. Not a realist. And it was refreshing and fascinating to watch as the story unfolded. It was profound.
The story begins with a boy at the age of six who is escorted by a nurse to see his newborn brother. Immediately, the filmmaker is setting up the rules of his idyllic world. And the rules are consistent throughout. The father is nowhere to be seen. In fact, there are no adults other than an impartial nurse who leads the boy to the person who will ultimately be the love of his life.
The six year-old brother looks into his baby brother's eyes through the viewing window and a profound connection is formed. The filmmaker makes his first point. Could this mysterious thing we call love start even before birth? In most of the best love films that I've seen, and I've seen plenty, when two lovebirds meet the love of their life they have that experience of, haven't we met before? Or, I feel like I've known you all my life.
I won't go into the whole story but I was fascinated by the filmmaker's decision to leave as much conflict out of the picture as possible. He showed us hints of potential conflicts but wisely didn't emphasize them. It was a brave choice. Abranches' vision would prefer to keep the boy's perpetually in the womb of their mother. Which is another important theme throughout the story.
Abranches give us a vision of his Garden of Eden before the fall and the Great Conflict. Before Adam hid himself in the bushes when God walked the grounds and he asked Adam, why are you hiding? I'm naked. And God became angry, who told you thou wast naked? What kind of world would that be like? I can only imagine but I caught a glimpse of it up there on the big silver screen. I highly recommend From Beginning to End.
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