Hot Docs 2014: Bugarach (2014)
Bugarach transcends typical notions of filmmaking. Boasting a three piece screenwriting and directing team (Ventura Durall, Sergi Cameron, and Salvador Sunyer), Bugarach emerges as an experimental concoction that incorporates art-house imagery to tell a slightly fictionalized account of a real event in a small village in the foothills of the mountains of France. Laden with traces of documentary style realism, Bugarach further manages to rise in merit with its simple story of how one village of 200 people is turned upside-down by the insurgence of thousands who falsely believe Bugarach to be the only place of survival on December 21, 2012. With this story, Bugarach is ripe with complex critiques on the media and the frail integrity of modern day journalists.
Most of Bugarach’s charm is owed to its director of photographers, Iván Castiñieras and Cyprien Clément-Delamas, who create an air of haunting spectacle through their use of overly saturated, brooding colors in every scene. The color black appears in ominous opaque hues while other colors, like green, are dredged in darker shades. Though this dreary cinematography is ever present throughout most of Bugarach, it doesn’t take away from the film’s visual zeal as lighter colors pop with almost candy like brightness when shown. The majestic nature of the mountain that is the film’s focus is captured through long shots that exhibit its stature among the surrounding land mass and the clouds’ penchant for rolling over its peak.
Burarach is ultimately a template to outline the absurdities of journalistic integrity and the susceptibility of mankind. Poignant moments of dialogue and action skillfully exhibit how the outsiders who have intruded in the villager’s neighborhood affects them both superficially and internally. Some characters use the event to their advantage, while others try in vain to convince arrogant reporters that all they want is to be left alone. Bugarach partly focuses its attentions on the absurdities of the mass hysteria surrounding the 2012 “apocalypse,” but it mostly is a magnifying glass with its sights set on human existentialism and man’s fear of death.
Screening Times for Bugarach
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3- Tue, Apr 29 9:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2- Wed, Apr 30 4:00 PM
Isabel Bader Theatre- Fri, May 2 4:00 PM