INNOCENCE - Francophone Finale
Dir. Lucile Hadzihalilovic- Belgium/France/UK
Sunday, February 25th
7 & 9:30 PM - 122 mins
Newcomb Hall Theatre
Set in a sprawling forest lit by hanging outdoor electric lamps and surrounded by an impenetrable stone wall, Lucile Hadzihalilovic's debut film is an allegorical rumination on French femininity. At the center of the forest (and the film) is a secluded girls' school, where prepubescent girls are conditioned and trained for ambiguous future roles in adult society. The girls wear age-specific colored ribbon in their hair, and periodically receive new students delivered in coffins which appear in the middle of the night. "In its view of childhood as totalitarian citizenship, Hadzihalilovic's film stands, quietly, in a gender-furious class by itself." (Michael Atkinson, Village Voice)
Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes:
Abundant butterfly imagery suggests a cocoon for the metamorphosis to womanhood, the closest Lucile Hadzihalilovic's haunting and hypnotic fairy tale comes to explaining this Eden of Eves. The rest is metaphor with a distinctly European sensibility, from its fascination with the not-so-innocent acts of pettiness from children to lovely lingering scenes that cast a spell over the almost abstract story. There is no violence or violation, but it reverberates with uneasy feelings of prepubescent girls as objects of the adult gaze, in particular Hadzihalilovic's own caressing camera. "Innocent" confronts the line between the celebration and the exploitation of innocence with an uneasy tension that is discomforting at best.
Click here for the official studio site.