Jean Gentil (2010) MIFF Film Review

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This very slow-moving, beautiful film shows the gradual demise of the life of Jean Gentil, a clean-living man in the Dominican Republic who, initially, is seeking work as an accountant. As he loses his housing, his hope and his faith, he heads out to the countryside, finding shelter and food where he can. The long slow shots are often very wide and sometimes it is hard to find the human figures in the scene.

The film tended to hold back information, rather than laying it all out for the audience. It is only halfway through that it is revealed that Jean Gentil is from Haiti, but I feel like that is important information because it immediately turns him into an outsider in this world. I also found it difficult to understand the decisions that he made during the film. At times, it seems as though he has found something, a person or a job or something else, which can help him, yet he walks away.

Jean Gentil is a very depressed character and this is depicted extremely well, so much so that it is hard to walk from this film without feeling at least a little down-hearted.