Undead Movie

by Adriano Garrett


Bertrand Bonello’s Zombie Child left me with a double impression: while it became one of the best experiences I had in a movie theater this year, it brought some disappointment along the path taken in its outcome. The film begins with a prologue set in Haiti from the 1960s - in which a man is brought back from the world of the dead - and then focuses his plot on the daily life of an elite Paris school today, where young Haitian Mélissa joins a restricted group of white friends.

In this nucleus, the greatest and rarest merit is the way whiteness is racialized. An example: the panorama that presents the school environment makes a movement that then comes back, referring to a refusal of a linear and univocal historical understanding - movement consistent with the teacher's speech about the French Revolution. The sequence no longer brings a simple reading - the presentation of the only black student in the school - and expands it - with white people having to deal with the fact that they are not universal. This idea returns and is complexified at various other times (Google search, reaction to confrontational speech or sound never heard).

It is thanks to this constant self-conscious movement that the film achieves the prowess of presenting a problematic speech like that about hierarchies of suffering, said by Fanny (Mélissa's friend), without creating an adherence to that speech - because, until that moment, irresponsibility is of character, not of work. The problem with the scene is on the other hand, in the absence of a dramatic basis for Melissa's aunt - previously presented as a teacher aware of her role with the Haitian community - to accept Fanny's egoic plea for a ritual that recovers her love. matched.

From then on, the film loses its strength and goes on walking like the walking dead. It is worth highlighting two other questionable options: the way in which possession is staged (and the confrontation that this generates with the already mentioned self-awareness of the film) and the appearance of signs that link the plot to real facts (a gesture that seeks extra legitimacy). the outcome choices).