Liberté (2019), by Albert Serra – Criticism

Serra offers a first-class cinematic aesthetic treatise; where the aesthetic is not limited exclusively to the plastic, but enters the very root of its philosophical concept and ‘moves the ass’ of the armchair

It is not easy to conceptualize the latest film work by Catalan director Albert Serra: I freed. Not because a marked minimalist rhythm shakes the narrative. Nor because the theme has torn and torn clothes, before so little neat cinema where sex does not want borders, tactical emblems, or archetypal or homologated readings.

Even because the film's own structure rises from the usual narrative and spends out of a scenic language sparing in words (only the precise ones). It is because it deals with the very compulsion of desire, its development in the human being and its treatment with death.

The true transgression is in the punctual text that directs that staging mimetic and overwhelming.

The more ‘tiquismiquis’ will dare to treat this ‘special’ work as pornography – it usually happens when the interlocutor, obsessed with his taboos, is not able to register new narrative perspectives; however, even if it were, it would do the same: it results from a rich plastic wealth that can manage to suggest (what better thing can be sought from a creation).

A group of actors in the dark and in the ashen profile of a eucalyptus forest – somewhere near Postdam or Berlin, as required by a script that is located in 1774 with Duc de Walchen as the main character (freethinker for some, libertine for others), challenging the conservative figure of the decadent monarchy of Louis XVI-, and sex (with all its dramaturgy: from seduction to the merely eschatological), and provocation, and again pain or death.

In that situation, Serra moves deceiving the deception; because while the most 'illusive' can remain in the aesthetic conjuration of the nude, semen, punishments or insights, the true transgression is in the punctual text that directs that mimetic and overwhelming staging, and where looks are a treatise of dramaturgy that embroiders the acting picture headed by Helmut Berger.

It is not easy to conceptualize. In fact, in Cannes he produced his particular ‘bell’ in the ‘A certain look’ section; yes, taking the Special Jury Prize and overcoming the adage that comes to say that everything that transgresses uncomfortable (for something is Cannes).


Synopsis Year 1774, just before the French Revolution. Somewhere between Potsdam and Berlin, a group of libertines flee the new ultraconservative government of Louis XVI.
country France
Direction Albert Serra
Script Albert Serra
Photography Artur Tort
Distribution Helmut Berger, Ingrid Caven, Stefano Cassetti, Leonie Jenning, Catalin Jugravu, Anne Tismer
Gender Drama
Duration 132 min.
Original title I freed
Premiere 11/15/2019

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[elcineenlasombra.com]