Isabel Coixet - Spain/France/Bulgaria
It seemed at first as though Nobody Wants the Night
, directed by a woman and internationally produced, would be the perfect way to open the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. It would demonstrate the international qualities of the festival while also highlighting the high amount of woman-centric and created films at the festival. Unfortunately, this did not prove to be the case.
Indeed, it turned out to be a curious choice as it proved to be a bit culturally insensitive and the story was very disappointing from a feminist angle. It is interesting that they chose to have a Japanese woman (Rinko Kikuchi) playing an Inuit, and by interesting I mean unfortunate. Were there truly no First Nation actresses who could have played the role? And Juliette Binoche’s character, Josephine Peary, is so naïve and harmful in her actions that the film hearkens back to an earlier time when women were always presented on film as being incapable of making good decisions. Perhaps this account of Peary’s actions is historically accurate, but the question must be asked, why did it need to be made into a film?
A few beautiful shots of the arctic weren’t enough to save this frosty feature. Hopefully the next time they choose to highlight a woman-led production it could be something like the fascinating Sworn Virgin
rather than the likes of this film. (RF)