The horizon according to Iñes Rabadan
by Anne Feuillère
20/09/2006 - Belhorizon, the debut feature by Iñes Rabadan – which has been at several festivals, in particular Montreal last year as well as the Namur International Francophone Film Festival (see article) – opens on Belgian screens today.
Starring Emmanuel Salinger and impressive newcomer Ilona del Marle alongside Nathalie Richard, Claude Perron and Bruno Putzulu, Belhorizon is a bucolic yet cruel story, a bitter fairy tale. When Carl (Salinger at his most vulnerable) and his posh friends arrive to buy the rather inappropriately named Belhorizon hotel deep in the forest, they stumble across a family guesthouse run by a Spanish couple and their daughter, a young mother.
While Carl’s world is falling apart and his friends come to visit him to do a disenchanting conga, in this out-of-the-world place, where time seems to be in slow motion and blurred, the prince risks his skin by playing too much with his shepherdess.
The success of this debut feature – aside from its characters and the depiction of the clash between social classes – lies in its sluggishness, its description of time stood still, deserted by everything, a general falling apart of dreams, which, little by little, sway the film towards fantasy. However, the tale can only have a cruel ending.
Produced by Belgian outfits Need Productions, Moviestream Filmed Entertainment SA and Lumière, Belhorizon was co-produced with France’s OF2B, Swiss outfit PCT Cinéma & Télévision and Luxembourg’s Tarantula.
The film received various sources of funding, in particular from the Centre de l'audiovisuel de la Communauté Française de Belgique, the Flemish Audiovisual Fund, the CNC and the MEDIA Programme. It is being distributed in Belgium by Benelux Film Distribution (Lumière), while world sales are being handled by Celluloid Dreams.
This week features three other European releases, with the two French films starring Belgian actors. In Xavier Giannoli’s The Singer [trailer], Belgian actress Cécile de France stars opposite Gérard Depardieu (dist. Victory Films), while Jérémie Renier plays the supporting role to Albert Dupontel in Lionel Delplanque’s President [trailer] (dist. Les Films de L'Elysée).
The third European release is a Swiss production by Georges Gachot, Maria Bethânia: música é perfume, a documentary on the Brazilian singer produced by Idéale Audience and distributed in Belgium by Abc Distribution.
(Translated from French)