When French director Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2012, the rest of the world wasn’t just introduced to another tricky to pronounce name, but also a very talented filmmaker. Hazanavicius took an admittedly gimmicky concept and turned it into an infectiously joyous film that delightfully flitted around as it celebrated classic cinema. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of Hazanavicius’ next film, The Search, which once again sees him teaming up with his Artist star Berenice Bejo.
A remake of a 1948 film of the same name – though now transplanted from post-WWII Berlin to war-torn Chechnya in the late 1990’s – The Search appears to be an emotionally haunting and harrowing human drama all about the horrors and repercussions of war. This appears to be the type of heavy fare that will not leave you grinning like The Artist did.
Though most of the dialogue in this first international is in English, there are some sections where Chechen appears to be spoken with French subtitles. However this is one of those cases where the grim, raw emotion on display just transcends the language barrier.
The Second Chechen War. 1999. THE SEARCH recounts, on a human scale, a powerful story of conflict told through four lives that will be brought together by a shocking twist of fate.
After his parents are killed in their village, a small boy flees, joining the flood of refugees. He meets Carole, a European Union delegation head and little by little, with her help, he will return to life. At the same time, his elder sister Raïssa searches tirelessly for him amongst the civilian exodus.
Then there’s 20-year-old Kolia… A recent Russian Army recruit, he will gradually be overwhelmed by the daily life of wartime.
The Search also stars Annette Bening, Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev, Maksim Emelyanov and Zukhra Duishvili, and will be debuting at Cannes this year.
Last Updated: May 22, 2014