Ne Me Quitte Pas
Sunday 12th October, 8.45pm – ICA
Tuesday 14th October, 9pm – Ritzy
Following the everyday lives of two downtrodden, 50-something friends in a barren and remote Belgian village may seem like rather challenging subject matter for a reality documentary, but this didn’t stop Pieter Van Huystee from producing his film Ne Me Quitte Pas, translated as “don’t leave me”. Bob and Marcel are two best buddies held together by their unrequited love for cheap alcohol and their painful loneliness with the backdrop of a fiercely cold, desolate landscape.
The opening scenes of the documentary are shot in such a naturalistic and unedited way that it’s like watching a stripped-down movie; there is no questioning or communication from the camera man as Bob and Marcel are left to live their life naturally infront of the lens. The lack of structured narrative means that the line between documentary and film is blurred; the slow paced footage and raw interactions mean that there is an honest emotional feel to the piece. The content is so lacking in memorable content that the tone seems undeniable abstract and may remind audiences of the story of Waiting for Godot as our protagonists seem trapped in a place unfit for humans to live in.
The tone is unrelentingly dark: perhaps the best example of this is through the humour the friends share. They often joke about their own perfect suicide, with Bob’s being at the tree of life, which he cannot even find. It’s a film that the viewer has to devote their emotions and time to in order to fully enjoy the antics of the pair and empathise with their lives. The film may essentially be about two nobodies in nowhere but on a grander scale there is a vulnerability that ripples throughout, giving a sense of pure honesty to the faults of the human condition.
Ne Me Quitte Pas release date is yet to be announced.
For further information about the BFI London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Ne Me Quitte Pass here:
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