Vesper: The unbearable beauty of devastation (****)

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As disturbing as it may be, there is something unbearably beautiful about devastation. Ernesto Sábato maintained that man demonstrates his nobility in the stubbornness with which he insists on raising his work in the midst of disaster, “sustaining it tirelessly halfway between heartbreak and beauty.” Vesperthe Belgian film signed by the Lithuanians Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper, believes with firm faith in the dictation of the Argentine writer and shares with, for example, the oil The Raft of the Medusa from Théodore Géricault his fascination with the abyss. On paper, this independent science fiction production could pass for a dystopian recreation (another one) after the more than obvious ecological disaster of a world divided between rich and poor and, consequently, completely devastated. And that is.

But not only. And there, the miracle. With an unusual taste for detail and an almost hypnotic precision, the directors manage to raise before the viewer’s too stale gaze an apocalyptic fable that is also exaggeratedly human. It tells the story of a teenager (Raffiella Chapman) determined to survive. She must help and care for a paralyzed father while investigating how to make genetically modified seeds fertile.

Let’s say that the plot barely advances between script resources that are more or less known, more or less hackneyed, more or less obvious. And yet It is the confidence in the cinema to recreate the unheard of, the unimaginable, the simple and pure devastation that awaits us, the one that confers on Vesper the strange and unique quality of magnetism. This is a film that, distantly related to Stalker of Tarkovski, one breathes through the eyes, one lives in the Sabbatian amazement “between beauty and heartbreak”.

DIR: Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper. INT: Raffiella Chapman, Rosy McEwen, Eddie Marsan. DURATION: 114 minutes. NATIONALITY: Belgium.

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