– In Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd’s movie, the sound of silence meets a deafening cacophony of voices
It’s nearly ironic that Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd’s French-Belgian co-production Internal Traces, beforehand proven at Visions du Réel, was handed the Sound Design Award at Norway’s latest Mirage Movie Pageant (see the information). In so some ways, it’s actually about silence – silence or simply plain indifference, of the land or the gods, in all probability uninterested in witnessing unending battle and ache.
An ideal instance of what folks are inclined to name an “essay movie”, Internal Traces – shot on the foot of Mount Ararat – shouldn’t be precisely quiet, nevertheless. It consists of numerous testimonies from survivors and exiles, from the Yezidis and the Armenians. They’re graphic and relentless, and after some time, they develop into gruesomely acquainted. Perhaps that’s why Vandeweerd, burdened with tales of our bodies tortured, murdered or lacking, escapes into poetry at one level.
It is an comprehensible, in all probability much-needed alternative. It might be arduous for sure viewers to decide to a narrative that brutal: now, the movie feels extra melancholic than violent. Internal Traces – temporary at its 87 minutes – begins mysteriously, with a caged pigeon overlooked within the snow, with black-and-white images flashing up on the display solely to as soon as once more disappear into the darkness, numerous faces seen but swiftly forgotten. “I’m at nighttime, day and evening,” somebody says. Extra will expertise the very same feeling.
“In army technique, interior traces are escape routes situated close to enemy traces,” it’s said. They can be utilized by messengers and their provider pigeons, serving to to attach communities misplaced within the midst of struggle. However what sort of escape or connection is admittedly doable right here, on land so used to the violence that it barely bats an eyelid? That’s one other query. Vandeweerd retains on itemizing the conflicts and the names. Is it wanted? Probably not, except it’s a query of respect or of celebrating the lives that have been misplaced. Perhaps it might work within the movie’s favour to simply totally decide to this dreamier method, as what he expresses is already clear.
He does one thing right here that many administrators do: he reveals folks simply standing nonetheless, wanting on the digicam considerably accusingly or off into the space, perhaps the place their houses was once. Typically teary-eyed, typically uncomfortable. They “have been at peace like their mountains” as soon as, they are saying. Till they weren’t.
As a substitute of “speaking heads”, you get considering heads, with a choir of voices recalling what the folks received’t say aloud. It’s not simply their testimonies both; it’s tales and previous tales, political speeches. However you don’t truly see them converse, and their lips should not shifting, as if to indicate that some secrets and techniques stay hidden and a few deeds go unpunished. Perhaps after so a few years, they don’t actually count on anybody to listen to them.