Bruno Reidal, Confessions of a Murderer
Original title: Bruno Reidal
- 1h 41m
In 1905, French seminarian Bruno Reidel is found guilty of murdering a child. At the request of the doctors observing him, he writes his memoirs to explain his action.In 1905, French seminarian Bruno Reidel is found guilty of murdering a child. At the request of the doctors observing him, he writes his memoirs to explain his action.In 1905, French seminarian Bruno Reidel is found guilty of murdering a child. At the request of the doctors observing him, he writes his memoirs to explain his action.
Those tormented become the tormentors
The title of this review in my opinion sums up a lot, if not all of the film. The lead actor and the director are both new to me, and both I sense intuitively should work together again. From the opening and shocking sequence; explicit without being totally explicit I was caught up in the drama of this 17 year old and his need to murder. The ending in my opinion should have been as less explicit as the opening, as so called evil actions are better shown obliquely than head on in serious films. Less for me equals more and this is why I have given it a 9 instead of a full 10. To give some idea without spoilers it became Pasolini's ' Salo ' instead of the near Bresson film that I had watched so far. The question asked throughout is why this teenager in 1905 should have wanted to kill a child of 12, and frankly despite all efforts to make Bruno Reidal, the killer, give an answer to this the more the reason becomes elusive. For instance why should Bruno have homicidal fantasies instead of sexual ones during his compulsive acts of masturbation ? Was it due to his religious aspirations and the heavy weight of the Church ? Was it his ( to me ) unfounded belief that he was not good looking ? Could he only satisfy his guilt ridden desires for handsome men by imagining their torture and death instead of their sexual pleasure ? As I watched this beautifully filmed story I was not as appalled by Bruno as perhaps I should have been and that was due to his very real love for a youth called Blondel. Sadly that love was tainted by sadistic fantasies as well. I am not keen on the ' bad ' seed theory of evil in people, but the sheer, and to me overdone horror of the ending could easily reinforce that theory in viewers. A brilliantly made film accentuated by Olivier Messiaen's music and with images sometimes worthy of Caspar David Friedrich had me for the most part spellbound. One final point; this should not be put into any simplistic Gay interest category. If anything it is a deeply questioning religious film, and the repressions are as heterosexual as well as being homosexual.
- Aug 16, 2022
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