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PARTNERS

© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'ECATE'
- Directed by Tommaso Franghini -

The film tells the story of an old knight wondering through the woods. Haunted by this voice of a woman, he seems lost and disoriented. He comes near a river and he drinks the water only to fall down to the ground a few moments later. A mysterious woman then appears and takes him back to her home to take care of him.  He is haunted by the horrors of war and intrigued by her presence.

        

The film is beautifully shot, it uses big wide-open wilderness set-ups and it contrasts them with tight, low-light, chiaroscuro shots inside her home. The result is an atmosphere of mystery and magic, which perfectly completes the story. We have the feeling that the two characters are the only human beings still alive, living in a peaceful oasis, isolated from a world torn by war. However, the boundaries between reality and fantasy are constantly challenged by the words and the behavior of the enigmatic woman, confusing and offering a sense of security to the knight in the same time.

Although the beautiful mysterious woman and the old knight seem to develop a certain emotional connexion, the nature of this connexion remains unclear.  They wonder around the empty forest and have short moments of interaction, when they talk about loneliness, pain, and the lack of control that we have over our lives. The two characters seem to know each other for a long time and yet they just met. Both of them just kind of accept this communion as if it would be the most natural thing in the world, as if they would’ve just found each other after a very long time of separation.

One aspect that really stands out in the film is the music that accompanies most of the scenes. If at the beginning, the music seems to set the film in a certain time (we had the impression that we were about to watch a film set in the Middle Ages), it grows more and more atemporal. We felt that the fantasy elements, beautifully intertwined with the sounds of nature, prepare the viewer for the mystery that is present throughout the whole film and direct the viewer’s attention towards the human dimension of the story.
 

The film keeps it pretty ambiguous and doesn’t very much proceed to explain itself fully, therefore the ending is open to interpretation. It mainly uses atmosphere to tell the story and we found this as a strong point. It is very pleasant to watch and it has a very warm tone, making it easy to follow. The plot and the dialogue might not be very complex or remarkable, but they are well highlighted by the production team, which makes it good film overall, without significant flaws. 

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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest,

Images provided by Stephen Brace and Jason Hargrove

have not been altered and are used in compliance with CC License.