Fanny (Louise Labeque) will make bad use of the powers of voodoo.
May 25, 2020
Updated on may 29, 2020 at 4h17
Zombie Child: journey to the end of the night *** 1/2
CRITICAL / Bertrand Bonello has had the taste, after Saint Laurent and Nocturama, a film is more modest, with a naturalistic aesthetic strong. And to revisit the phenomenon of “zombie” film. Zombie Child tells an amazing story “real” and, in parallel, a no less surprising story of ensorcèlement.
The French director was inspired by the fate of Clairvius Narcisse who, in 1962, would have been zombifié to work in the hell of the plantations of sugar cane before re-appearing 18 years after his death assumed. The late Wes Craven had already adapted the story under the title The power of darkness (1987).
Bonello did not, however, concentrate on that one aspect. He imagined that the little-daughter of Narcissus is studying in a boarding school, top of the range in France. One evening, in order to join a sorority, Melissa (Wislanda Louimat) narrates the sad fate of his family, with four comrades, whose romantic Fanny (Louise Labeque).
The filmmaker thus leads to the two stories in parallel because, we understand soon enough, they will eventually collide.
The pane haitian is more enigmatic, leaving the viewer his own interpretation of what is going on. Bonello clearly wanted to wear a neutral on voodoo and its influence on the psyche of the inhabitants of the country. His achievement has almost a value of ethnographic and plans for the night are absolutely stunning.
Side France, the ins and outs are more clear. The main of letters written by Fanny to Pablo is narrated off-screen. The girl is “owned” by his perfect love, which will have unpredictable consequences… Zombie Child also shows the melancholy of adolescence — which, by definition, proves to be almost always annoying. Just as, moreover, the course barbants followed by our heroines. The long sequence of the presentation on the French Revolution, very theoretical, requires an effort of will.
In addition, the game actresses, of a natural a bit artificial, sometimes leaves something to be desired. Bonello chose to amateurs, in keeping with its vision of modesty, very well, but Louise Labeque struggling to convince in énamourée. Conversely, Wislanda Louimat has a very strong presence.