Les Premiers, les Derniers

The First, The Last
Directed by: 
2016
Les premiers, les derniers

Esther and Willy are handicapped. And in love. And on the run. Perhaps from Gilou and Colise, two burly, bearded snoopers in the van who are trying to get a fix on Willy’s mobile phone? Or from the man who calls himself Jesus and has the stigmata on his hands to prove it? Or from the men from a nearby warehouse who are searching for the perpetrator who has violated the wife of their boss? And who is the mummy in the sleeping bag? Set in a sparse European landscape dissected by electricity pylons and roads, Belgian director Bouli Lanners’ film is a weirdly beautifully late western in which roughnecks show their soft side and the fact that two people belong together is symbolised by their wearing of high-vis jackets. Terseness meets love, violence meets faith. Michael Lonsdale cultivates orchids and the incomparable Max von Sydow as a priest sings a farewell song to a corpse. Lanners, who also plays a leading role, directs with a talent for surprise and excitement. The film hides clues about the plot in buildings, cars and in the dialogue. And anyone who thinks they have figured out the story after five minutes is wrong. (Festival information)