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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

Grasshopper Film & Gratitude Films Fly Over to Albert Serra’s “Pacifiction”

Grasshopper Film & Gratitude Films Fly Over to Albert Serra’s “Pacifiction”

Men in white suits were a thing in week two of the Cannes Film Festival’s competition this year — with Benoît Magimel in Mr. De Roller edging out Stars at Noon‘s Joe Alwyn in terms of this cinephile’s glee. But both were equally murky. After yesterday’s Sideshow & Janus Films pick up of Tori et Lokita, it is now Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films’ turn to land a comp title in Albert Serra‘s Pacifiction. An item that was featured late in the comp (see our jury grid), the Catalan filmmaker was present during the naughts in the Directors’ Fortnight section and eventually made it up to the big dance — nabbing three showings moving from the Out of comp, to the Un Certain Regrd and then the Comp. The distribs are planning a late year showing – so this means NYFF would be in the cards. If this does get showcased at TIFF, it’ll be in the Wavelengths section.

From our ★★★½ Cannes review:
Literally and figuratively, Pacifiction (Tourment sur les îles), the latest from the cerebral Spanish director Albert Serra, concerns the cancer of colonialism in a tropical Tahitian paradise. One of Serra’s most robust narratives in quite some time, his focal point is the white suited Benoît Magimel, a figurehead meant to keep a semblance of order between locals and clandestine political maneuverings behind the scenes. Sifting through the loquacious commiserations of various characters surrounding him, darkness looms as rumblings of renewed nuclear testing on a nearby Polynesian island suddenly come to fruition, revealing the futility of his position. Serra experiments with thriller tropes as the background for increasingly paranoid, eventually fraught conversations in an experimental blend which lulls the audience as much as its characters into the submission of inevitability.

The film is set on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, and centers on the High Commissioner of the Republic and French government official, whose role brings him to navigate both the high-end “establishment” and shady venues where he mingles with the locals. Lately, he’s had to contend with a rumor about the sighting of a submarine whose ghostly presence could herald the return of French nuclear testing.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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