Saturday, May 25, 2024

Thoughts on ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT (2024) Cannes 2024

I had finished watching ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT  and I was pondering it's considerable wonders when I looked at social media and found the press corps at Cannes (where it just won the Grand Prix) raving like crazy people about the film. I was horrified by this turn, not because the film is bad, not even remotely, but their words were promising a film bigger and louder than the small gem that is going to find a place in your heart and live there forever.

Because I do not want to over sell the film, honestly what I would rather do is get copies of the film and just press it into your hands while saying "Take this and watch it -- we'll discuss it later".

I can't stress it enough - don't read the gushing reviews- just buy a ticket and see it.

The film is a mix of documentary sequences with narrative. The documentary sequences are sequences in and around the location with voice over. They are hypnotic bits that grab us and pull us into the tale. It's a brilliant device that makes everything we see so much more real. The narrative is the story of three women in Mumbai. A nurse is thrown off when her estranged husband shows up with a gift. Her roommate is trying to find a place where she can be intimate with her boyfriend. The pair take a trip to the beach with a friend and try to sort it all out.

A quiet, gentle film with it's own rhythms, ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT takes its time telling its story.  Never big and loud this film is something more akin to spending a few hours with the characters. It's a film that slowly works its way into your heart and head. What seems just okay at the start ends up being deeply moving at the end. A second trip through the film reveals it to be a much deeper film than you may think at the start and by the time we reach that final shot we are even more moved. (I was not going to see it a second time, but some time after I saw it it was growing bigger and stronger and I had to revisit it.)

This is a deeply moving film that works it's magic on a visceral level. It's a film whose charms should not be shouted about but rather experienced.

Is it one of the best films to play Cannes this year? Without a doubt, but this quiet film about the human heart needs to be seen for what it is and not over sold as something it is not.

Go see this film. Go see it and be moved.

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