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19 days to watch
3.1
277 Ratings

Occidental

Directed by Neïl Beloufa
France, 2017
Drama
  • French
  • Danish, English, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish

Synopsis

In a boho Parisian hotel, two sexually and politically ambiguous Italians romp through a succession of blatantly artificial set pieces, stoking the prejudices of staff members and guests. Outside, riots rage and protesters march, threatening to spill into the feverish atmosphere gathering indoors.

Our take

French-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa’s second feature is a flamboyant spectacle: a mix of thriller, comedy and melodrama overflowing with queer effervescence. Calling Fassbinder to mind, its 70s atmosphere and cult aura render an impossibly eccentric take on Europe’s political unrest and moral decay.

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The vivid colours and bizarro details, including evocatively shot colonialist paintings, convey that Twin Peaks-sense of both quaintness and otherworldliness.
October 04, 2017
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The great success of Beloufa's second feature is to know how to represent the absurdity of these homophobic, racist and xenophobic behaviors in a society where nobody considers themselves neither homophobic nor racist nor xenophobic, and without falling into the flat characterization of "good immigrants" vs. "mean Europeans". Part of the richness of the "Italians" Giorgio and his partner as characters lies in their mysterious and sensual behavior, in their sexual and political ambiguity.
September 14, 2017
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The creeping sense that something terrible is about to happen gradually swells to the breaking point, but the presentation of what exactly that something terrible is (and just how terrible we're talkin' here) and what happens next is an utter blast to behold (think The Towering Inferno meets the May '68 riot scenes in Regular Lovers).
April 11, 2017
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