Kaat Beels’s debut feature Swooni hits screens
by Aurore Engelen
24/08/2011 - Swooni is the imaginary country, that better other place where lost fish meet again. This is the magical metaphor used by Sierra Leonean refugee Amadou, to help his son Happy stay hopeful.
Swooni is perhaps the big Brussels hotel, where the paths of six individuals cross, this enclosed space where emotions will reach boiling point, fuelled by the heatwave beating down on the city. Amadou and his son will cross paths with Violette and Vicky, a mother and daughter who stopped talking to each other years ago, and Anna and Hendrick, a couple having communication difficulties, on the verge of breaking up. Over the course of 24 hours, the links between the characters will come undone only to be put back together again.
A quintessential ensemble film, making good narrative use of the microcosmic potential of the hotel, Swooni showcases a fine cast of actors including Sara Deroo and Geert Van Rampelberg (who were previously directed by Kaat Beels in his short film Cologne), Viviane de Muynck (Flemish stage actress also frequently seen in TV and big-screen productions), Natali Broods (who played one of the only female roles in The Misfortunates [trailer, film focus]), Vigny Tchakouani (making his screen debut as Happy), and Issaka Sawadogo (who appeared in Marion Hänsel’s Sounds of Sand and will soon be seen in Nicolas Provost’s The Invader [trailer]).
Kinepolis is releasing the film in 18 theatres in Brussels and in Flanders. International sales are being handled by Delphis Films, and the film will be shown in world premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.
Being launched alongside Swooni, Christophe Honoré’s The Beloved [trailer, film focus] has been given a (surprising) nationwide release in 12 theatres (Lumière). The two films will face tough competition from a trio of US titles with broad appeal: Cowboys and Aliens, Final Destination 5 and One Day.
(Translated from French)