An impressive work, with Rimbaud retrieved from history through some of the director’s most inventive strategies. While Dindo is known for his static camera, which lets a subject or a landscape speak for itself, here he alternates that approach with gorgeously dreamlike sequences in which the camera glides across a forest or a river with Rimbaud’s words heard in voiceover. These scenes attain added spiritual power through the use of blue filters that distinguish them from the rest of the film.
Not that the film is only spiritual. Rimbaud’s frenzied life, his doomed love affairs, his Svengali-like power over those around him, his artistic angst, his drudge work in Aden and Africa, and his drug addiction and early death at 37 are on full and florid display here. Dindo brings them to life through Rimbaud’s own words, images of the locales in which he worked and played and suffered, and “interviews” with the principals in his life, including Paul Verlaine, who abandoned his wife to be with Rimbaud.
The poet’s surprisingly modern imagery and insights — “I think I’m in hell, therefore I am” — provide much of the film’s heft, but Dindo’s framing of the words make them resonate even more." —Bright Lights Film Journal (quoted on www.artfilm.ch)