Friday, February 17, 2023
Serra is an incredible filmmaker and this is his most wildly expressive project yet...a unique piece of cinema.
One of the most beautiful and rigorously introspective movies of this or any year, a film that makes you deeply ponder the fate of humanity itself.
A thrilling, immersive surrender.
A truly surreal spectacle...an authentic descent into darkness.
Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra reconfirms his centrality in the contemporary cinematic landscape with this mesmerizing portrait of a French bureaucrat (a monumental Benoît Magimel) drifting through a fateful trip to a French Polynesian island with increasing anxiety. Pacifiction charts the various uneasy relationships that develop between Magimel’s autocratic yet avuncular High Commissioner, De Roller, and the Indigenous locals (including nonprofessional actor Pahoa Mahagafanau in a hypnotic breakthrough as De Roller’s trusted right hand and maybe lover) who operate essentially under his faux-benevolent thumb, many of whom we meet at a resort that caters to the prurient exoticism of foreign tourists. Serra’s gripping, atmospheric thriller is a slow-building fever dream that lulls before catching us by surprise with the depths of its darkness, a film that allows its incisive social commentary about the remnants of colonialism to surface through quiet observation and aesthetic audacity. An NYFF60 Main Slate selection. A Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films release.
Watch our Q&As from the 60th New York Film Festival: