While a world war rages, Philippe, a draft-dodger from Quebec, takes refuge in the American West, surviving by competing in Charlie Chaplin impersonation contests. As Philippe makes his ...
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While a world war rages, Philippe, a draft-dodger from Quebec, takes refuge in the American West, surviving by competing in Charlie Chaplin impersonation contests. As Philippe makes his long journey home, he encounters various characters under the sway of a destructive madness borne of the chaotic times. His voyage, both violent and fascinating, is a hallucinatory initiation to the darker side of the American dream.
In a timeless, parched and depressed landscape, the people who encourage happiness are usually trying to sell something. Philippe is an actor playing Charlie Chaplin who assumes the role in real life. It is a surreal and narcissistic dog eat dog world where misery, addiction and entitlement are rampant. Philippe may be lost, alone and troubled, but he is still hopeful. "You are the ones who are weak," he tells those who would use him for a bit of gold. "you are cowards afraid of doing good." Phillipe is lost and wants to find his way back to something meaningful and good.
Chilling, stylish and dark, The Great Darkened Days is a profoundly personal film for the director who struggled to tell a story true to his vision and as independently as possible from the material world. The film setting is in a fantastic ghost town of Nevada. The Great Darkened Days is a little forced and awkward, but it tells an essential story with parallels to modern times. Seen at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
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