Quiet devastation erupts in discrete moments of an otherwise drawn-out trial. Alice Diop shows the processes of institutional justice in all their long, slow, and wordy reality with long shots on one person talking, defending herself, and repeating her life story for the court. But like being on an actual jury, being in court is more boring than you might imagine. It feels like the documentary form might have been better for this kind of exploration of structural racism, France’s treatment of African immigrants, and challenging preconceptions. That said, there are moments of emotion that burst through the trudge of a jury trial: when two Black women share a glance and a smile in the midst of everything. Maybe that’s the whole point.
(Full review available on Cinetopia podcast: https://anchor.fm/cinetopia/episodes/January-2023-on-EHFM-Reviews-of-Tar--Enys-Men--Saint-Omer--EO-and-an-interview-with-Sean-Lonadh--director-of-Too-Rough-e1tj9h7)