3 May 2002 | dbdumonteil
God is dead.
Filmed entirely on location ,"la passion Béatrice"avoids the pitfalls of the historical reconstructions.No cardboard,only a fortress and a desolate landscape where the winds endlessly blow. Back from the Crusades,a knight (Donnadieu,impressive) has lost all that he used to believe in.The Quest he has done has nothing to do with the Holy Graal,it's only death,crimes,rapes and plunders.Tavernier warned us before he began his tale:in the Middle Ages,there's Good,there's Evil,and there's nothing between the two concepts.The knight's bestiality is some kind of suicide -as the ending testifies- but ,like his son,he is a coward afraid to die.God is silent,and the wooden statue of Virgin Mary and Child has something definitely frightening.As if it had turned into some pagan divinity.Some would make a parallel with Donnadieu's character and Von Sydow's in Bergman's "the seventh seal"(1958).But the latter ,whose faith is not enough,wants to know the truth.Tavernier's knight is well beyond this stage .Actually,and this is the movie's greatest originality,this man has the psychology of a contemporary man:the truth is no longer important,for God is dead and with his family -particularly his daughter- there can only be war and destruction. One can regret the small "the most dangerous game"(1932) rip off and the slow pace.With more than two hours,parts of the film seem to drag on,and when Donnadieu is not on the screen,some people may yawn their head off. Thus,I would recommend it mainly for people who like works such as "the seventh seal" or Bresson's "Lancelot du Lac" (1974).