TIFF 2016 Movie Review: WE ARE NEVER ALONE (Czech/France 2016) ***1/2

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

we_are_never_alone_poster.jpgWE ARE NEVER ALONE (Czech/France 2016) ***1/2
Directed by Petr Vaclav

Starring: Klaudia Dudová, Zdenek Godla, Miroslav Hanus

Review by Gilbert Seah

Director Vaclav says of his film, “No one is ever alone – we are always connected. We all live with others: some we dominate, some dominate us. The weaker submit to the stronger, the imitators to the originators, lovers to their beloved.

All this is true and revealed in his film WE ARE NEVER ALONE. In a small town in the Czech provinces, there exist these characters: a paranoid prison guard, his hypochondriac neighbour and his wife who holds a shocking secret, their hardened children, a lovesick nightclub manager, and a stripper who is a single mother. Like a domino effect, each person’s actions unknowingly trigger consequences for them all.

The trouble is that these are all very depressing people who are always shouting at each other and condemning themselves. Do we need to watch this? We don’t but Vaclav’s film (which moves from black and white to colour back to black and white for no apparent reason) is somehow quite absorbing and his film turns out quite a surprising watch. This is quite an achievement for the director.

WE ARE NEVER ALONE world premiered at the 2016 Berlinale, where it won the Tagesspiegel Readers’ Jury Award.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqOrol4jYls

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