Jean-Pascal Hattu's debut unravels the emotional complexities of a romantic entanglement between an inmate, his wife and a prison guard.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Jean-Pascal Hattu’s debut unravels the emotional complexities of a twisted romantic entanglement between an inmate, his wife and a prison guard. With her husband Vincent one year into a seven year sentence, devoted young wife Maïté visits her husband weekly, but these fleeting meetings only intensify the strain on their relationship. When one day she is offhandedly propositioned by Jean (Cyril Troley) she begins a joyless affair with the diffident young man. The frisson of this infidelity is soon complicated by her discovery that Jean is a guard working in Vincent’s block.
“The resulting dynamic between Maïté’s passivity and distance, Vincent’s intense, unravelling stoicism and Jean’s lack of conviction is genuinely strange and yet completely plausible. Hattu’s treatment is dispassionately observational and contained; he never falls into the traps of melodramatic release or psychological explication. Instead he lets the behaviour do the talking.” — Gavin Smith, Film Comment