ContinuityBerlin Film Festival 2016
Video artist Omer Fast is no stranger to works that blur the boundaries between reality and fiction. His work often delves into the depths and complexities of the traumatised mind and dredges up uncomfortable questions. Thus far, his films have been relatively short but Continuity marks a change and his first steps towards more cinematic work.
Focusing on a middle-aged German couple, Continuity begins simply enough: Katja and Torsten are presumably on their way to pick up their son, returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. But very quickly it becomes apparent that things are far from what they seem as the couple invites a parade of young men into their home over the course of the film, all of whom vanish. Questions linger throughout as to what is real and what is not: which Daniel – if indeed any of them are – is the real Daniel, whether Daniel even exists in the first place. The only thing that seems to tie these boys together is how damaged they have been by their experiences with a war that bleeds into their current lives.
Deeply sinister and beautifully crafted, Continuity is undoubtedly an interesting feat of visual storytelling. Speech is introduced gradually, leaving the actors to convey their feelings and intentions through expression and gesture, but even after that, nothing is spelled out clearly. It requires real work and asks viewers to draw their own conclusions. Expertly filmed, with a minimal score, Continuity still very much feels like a work of art rather than a film in the traditional sense. It is too surreal and uncomfortable to truly be enjoyable and, in some ways, the surrealism works. It speaks of the chaos of war, the destruction and damage it leaves in its wake, but there are certainly those who would argue that this is more a confusing mess than an artistic achievement.
Continuity does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Continuity here: