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523 Ratings

Almayer's Folly

La folie Almayer

Directed by Chantal Akerman
Belgium, France, 2011


Working freely from Joseph Conrad’s debut novel, Chantal Akerman tells the story of a European trader in 1950s Malaysia whose dreams of a Western life for his Malay daughter slowly lead to destruction.

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Almayer's Folly Directed by Chantal Akerman
Even if the film finally becomes unhinged by what appears to be a disproportionate interest in its white colonialist father figure (Stanislas Merhar), it is still a rather exciting attempt by Akerman to stretch the boundaries of her art—most notably in the film’s opening and closing sequences, but also in the beautiful handling of landscapes.
June 27, 2016
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Gaspard Almayer is the worst kind of blinkered racist that white culture could possibly produce, but he is also a father completely in love with his daughter—a passion which moved Akerman, and sparked in her the determination to begin the long haul required (four years) to get the movie made and released, against all odds. It would be the last time that Chantal Akerman (in the words of Leonard Cohen) “came so far for beauty.” At least, happily for the world, she left a lot behind.
October 26, 2015
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Beginning with an opening musical number that hides a murder, continuing through the most audacious tracking shot of any film on this list, on through to meticulously chosen shots of the city and the jungle that show in thirty seconds what whole films miss about the way lives are lived, Almayer’s Folly isn’t typical fare for its director, but it is typically foundation-shaking.
October 06, 2015
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