Wednesday 29 September at 7.30pm
Bertrand Bonello│France│2019│103 mins│rating tbc
An interwoven account of the effects of class, slavery, and colonialism, Zombi Child moves fluidly between 1962 Haiti and a contemporary Parisian girls’ boarding school.
“French provocateur Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama) smartly mines the origins of the zombie narrative as a means of delving into the subject of his nation’s colonialist past and the present ramifications of that history. Setting his story set across two distinct timelines, Bonello pitches the tale of Clairvius Narcisse (Mackenson Bijou), a Haitian man whose “zombification” resulted in forced labor in the sugar cane fields, against the present day encounters of his granddaughter Mélissa (Wislanda Louimat) as she navigates the social and political terrain of a predominately white, all-girls private school in France, populated by the daughters and granddaughters of Legion of Honour recipients. Striking up a friendship with the headstrong Fanny (Louise Labèque), Mélissa gains access to a secret student group whose literary drives and hazing process leads her to reveal her family history, setting Fanny on a path of engagement (and appropriation) of the voodoo rituals connected to Mélissa’s ancestry… Zombi Child is a mysterious and yet strongly pointed exploration on the question of national culpability, as posed by one of contemporary cinema’s current masters.” – SIFF 2020