CIFF: Be Good

(The Plaza, Thu., Oct. 1 at 6:45 p.m.)

Be Good is an incredibly intricate story about the perverse love of incest, starring the young heroine Eve, (Ana├»s Demoustie) on a journey to reconcile her relationship with her father and with her past. Although the movie deals with incest, it is always implied rather than dealt with directly. This is parallel to her inability to cope with the past. Eve’s need for physical contact manifests itself in confusing mannerisms, such as seductively touching snails and making herself bleed by cutting her nails so short that blood pours down her fingers.

Be Good’s take on incest is both thoughtful and tasteful, only referencing Eve’s past through dialogue and a motif of two stacked pillows. Although it is a disturbing topic, director-writer Juliette Garcias handles it skillfully. From a cinematographic perspective, the film is uniquely shot, taking advantage of its ambiguity. The lack of dialogue between characters expands upon the ambiguity, leaving questions unanswered.

Garcias says her movie is about love. This “perverse” love is unique, and she asks the question, “Why not believe in it?” exploring how incest relates to the parent-child bond. The film itself attempts to answer this question through Eve’s need for her father’s affection. It seems to the viewer that Eve still loves her father, but hates him at the same time. This internal conflict is what drives her interactions with everyone in the small French village where her father lives and where she works.

Be Good is an exceptional film, largely due to Garcias’ potrayal of love’s dark side. It must not be missed.

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