By Mónica Delgado

This year, the Quinzaine de Realisateurs showed a discreet face, you may say, if you look at its programming and the lack of daring experimental films. If I’m mentioning this is because in previous years we could see works such as Tscherkassky’s The Exquisite Corpus, or shorts such as the ones of Diego Risquez. In this recent edition I managed to watch La Bouche, that without being an absolutely experimental work, at least expresses the will of this Cannes section of programming this kind of tendencies.

La Bouche mantains a risk that has characterized the style of the Colombian filmmaker, and that is affirmed here through the use of 16mm and the continuity of an aesthetic that many assume as “guerrilla film”, and that in Cilaos or La Bouche is centered in the choreography and a body sublimation of rhythm. This is a film of formal affronts that may have gone further than other short films presented in the Quinzaine.

In Cilaos, under a seventies’ style, Restrepo presents singer Christine Salem as the voice of a black identity in La Reunión Island, a French colony. And it’s through her art and singing that a culture of resistance is expressed, through her search of a father, in an internal fight of life and death, but also as a permanent action of cultural transaction. We seem to inhabit the same space of Cilaos in La Bouche, but there’s no seventies’ aesthetic nor there is a protagonist: now singers, dancers and musicians are portrayed, people that realize a musical ode to the mouth as a supreme expression, before oppression and satiety.

La Bouche is a materialization of how the screams of the resistance transformed in their cadence, but it could also refer to the allegoric figure of a consolation weapon (the mouth) in times of colonization and slavery. And Restrepo shows a contained sensibility through dances, faces and rhythms. The mouths are shut but the hands are open and express themselves. The mouths also sing, laugh, celebrate, as an option for insurrection.

Director, editor: Camilo Restrepo
Cast: Mohamed – Diable Rouge – Bangoura, Issiaga « Ella » Bangoura, Raymond , Karamoko Daman, Mabinty Kohn, Marie Touré
Cinematography: Guillaume Mazloum et Cécile Plais
Sound: Fred Dabo et Mathieu Farnarier
Producers: Helen Olive et Martin Bertier
France, 2017