qathet film festival 2024
Tues Mar 5 — 7 pm
Hirokazu Kore-eda brings emotional nuance to Monster, a moral tale about school bullying, scored by the late Ryuichi Sakamoto. The director offers up a deliberately dense but ultimately hopeful examination of how to negotiate family dysfunction with intelligence and humanity. The film challenges us with intricacy and complexity in this family drama about bullying, homophobia, family dysfunction, uncritical respect for flawed authority, and social media rumour-mongering; all working together to create a monster of wrongness.
In film after film, from Nobody Knows to Shoplifters, Japanese master Kore-eda Hirokazu has proven himself to be among the medium’s most humanistic directors, inclined to see the best in people, especially children. It’s a story set against the background of a provincial elementary school, one whose intricate plotting and tricksy time structure – designed both to make us work to understand who did what to who, and to play with our shifting sympathies – delivers rich dividends. There is an emotional delicacy here that keeps sentiment at bay, at least most of the time.
This film is quietly thrilling in how it manages to shake up its narrative, create emotional throughlines that resonate, and make one consider ideas regarding humanity as seen through the eyes of children. He challenges audiences to go beyond distinguishing between right from wrong and explore the intentions of our judgment and those we vilify. Within the movie’s three-part structure, Kore-eda seamlessly enters and exits genres while always maintaining the heart of the story. Monster leaves us hopeful under devastating circumstances. Nothing short of a masterpiece, it’s a deeply moving damnation of the effects of shame.
Director David Barlow-Krelina
Canada / English, 2012
In this NFB animation, when a small boy is left alone to play in a large and empty house, a monster appears.
The chase will not end until the boy discovers the source of his fears.