The team of Armagedon Time ©DR
The competition continues with two superb films: The Otto Mountain by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen and Armageddon Time by James Gray.
Cannes Film Festival 2022: for their first selection in Competition – Belgian filmmakers Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch portray an unbreakable friendship through time in the midst of a majestic mountain, a judge of peace of human destinies and the attempts to find their true path. Nine years after The Immigrant, James Gray makes his return to the Cannes Film Festival with Armageddon Time, a more personal film presented in Competition.
Friendship in the wilderness
Le Otto Mountain (The Eight Mountains) is the adaptation of Paolo Cognetti‘s 2016 novel, the French translation of which won the Prix Médicis étranger in 2017. Pietro is a child from Turin, a dirty and filthy city whose parents flee by renting a house in Grana, in the heart of the Aosta Valley, in the summer of his eleventh birthday. Pietro befriends Bruno, a cowherd his own age and the only child in the village. Bruno, a vigorous man with a knowledge of the wilderness, takes Pietro (whom he calls Biero in his dialect) to the steep mountain pastures. From their escapades and climbs, a friendship is born that will break up when they are separated during their adolescence: Bruno is taken abroad by his father to become a bricklayer, while Pietro will collect odd jobs.
The house of friendship
Twenty years later, when his father dies, the young man returns to Grana to find refuge and try to reconcile himself with his past. “Friendship has that strength which spans absence” wrote Albert Camus. The two friends meet again. Pietro learns that he has inherited a dream from his father: a house on the mountain. Pietro’s father was a passionate mountaineer and used to take the two boys to the highest peaks in the region. The two friends set about building it for a summer. Their friendship solidifies like the walls they erect, takes on the strength of the mountain, and flows, cool like an irresistible torrent, and burns like a fire that warms up during the bad turns of fate. For each of them is trying to find his or her place in the world, different from that of their father; but life shakes up their existences with its doubts and disenchantments.
A hymn to friendship
A hymn to friendship, this powerful family story that touches the heart also evokes the misunderstanding between generations, between fathers and sons, who will “understand later” – too late – what the elder wanted to pass on to his child to give him a better life than theirs. The two Belgian directors show all this with discreet emotion, without cynicism, always under the gaze of the mountain, the Eight Mountains that one goes to explore elsewhere, or THE mountain of one’s childhood. The film is moving, beautiful and pure like the wonder of a sunrise on the mountain. The Swedish Daniel Norgren, who lives in the middle of the forest and writes his songs while walking in the woods, wrote the music for the film.
Armageddon Time’s Red Carpet in pictures
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