Wednesday, February 15, 2012
See! Les Nom Des Gens
Of course, the description will tell you that it's about left wing Baya who will sleep with right wing men to convince them to fight the good fight. This provocative, highly sexual approach at a summary attempting to draw many in is initially what pushed me away from Les Noms des Gens, or The Name of Love in English. In the middle of a sleepless night I gave in & decided it would a least be worth starting. Les Noms is as much about sex as Juno is about pregnancy: not really at all. The true story is a tender and critical look at patriotism & politics.
I was disturbed that Baya may turn into too much of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but her strength as a character kept the movie anchored. Baya is the dream that you think about after you wake up. She marries illegal immigrants to get them citizenship and is impossibly well connected despite humble roots. Never before have I seen such a perfect merger of painful reality with absurdist humor. Fans of Amelie will gush over something a little more "real life" & less sepia toned.
I always think I will get so much typing accomplished when I am sick, because I'm just sitting around, right? It feels like my brain was stuffed like my nose, because I scrawled two measly sentences & crashed into bed. But watching this movie turned it back on; contrasting disturbing realities about heritage & citizenship with dreams of Paris in technicolour. Baya truly owns the movie, while Arthur is simply a vessel of a character that we explore her questions through. How do you recognize your own country? How can change actually happen?
Every line crafted with brilliance, and the way ends are tied up make you laugh & clap & shout. I would strongly recommend Les Noms Des Gens, even if you aren't a fan of the initial idea. This isn't really about sex. It's almost not even really about politics. This may be a love story, but it's to a people, not a person.
(Available on Netflic Canada)