Grey Matter (2011) MIFF Film Review


There’s something about obsession that is compelling, whether it is the somewhat humorous obsession of video game players in the King of Kong or the more distressing sexual obsessions of any number of suspense films.  Grey Matter focuses, at least partially, on the obsession of a filmmaker trying to make his film against the odds.

Balthazar has a concept for a film called the Cycle of the Cockroach, a film about genocide and madness. He tries to get government funding, but is thwarted by a bureaucracy that wants films that benefit the community on themes like the prevention of HIV and violence. Despite the lack of funding, Balthazar is compelled to take any means possible to make his film.

The second half of Grey Matter moves from the story of Balthazar to the film he is making. First, there is a scene in some kind of institution with a lone prisoner or patient, and this is followed with the story a brother and sister who are the last surviving members of a diplomat’s family.

I think this film is a little confused on what it is trying to achieve. I think that both the first part and the last part could be developed into full features that would stand alone, and they almost work together. The only thing that did not work for me was the middle section, and I am choosing to ignore this part when I say that this is a heart wrenching, beautiful film.

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