DRAMA / FRANCE / 2018 / 98 MINS / MA15+
An intriguing auteur who refuses to be pigeonholed, Virgil Vernier (Mercuriales, Commissariat) has made a career out of blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction, and he continues to do so to stunning aesthetic and thematic effect with the ethereal Sophia Antipolis.
Something of a “minimalist Gallic Short Cuts” (Hollywood Reporter), Sophia Antipolis is underpinned by the tale of the tragic death of a young child. As if part of an awakened reverie, the common thread of this girl propels the narrative sequentially across five characters. They’re all inhabitants of the technology park on the French Riviera known as Sophia Antipolis – a place where dreams should come true but fear and despair lurk not far below the surface.
Vernier employs a detached sense of drama in his telling of these stories, often featuring non-professional actors, which only heightens the film’s documentary feel. Among the many attributes of this film, critics have noted its hypnotic Lynchian qualities and a spectacular anthological scene of combat training.
As its locational name suggests, Sophia Antipolis is as much about exploring a place as it is about the diverse people within it.
"[Director] Virgil Vernier proposes with Sophia Antipolis an elusive essay and a testimonial chronicle at the same time, a fiction of mythical resonances and a reflection on the state of the world."– Caiman Cuadernos de Cine
DIRECTED BY: VIRGIL VERNIER
STARRING: Dewy Kunetz, Hugues Nijiba-Mukuna, Sandra Poitoux, Lilith Grasmug