Summer 1910. Several tourists have vanished while relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Channel Coast. Infamous inspectors Machin and Malfoy soon gather that the epicenter of these ...
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Victoria is a thirty-something divorced lawyer who's struggling to raise her two daughters. She is canny and cynical but on the verge of an emotional breakdown. At a friend's wedding she ... See full summary »
Summer 1910. Several tourists have vanished while relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Channel Coast. Infamous inspectors Machin and Malfoy soon gather that the epicenter of these mysterious disappearances must be Slack Bay, a unique site where the Slack river and the sea join only at high tide. There lives a small community of fishermen and other oyster farmers. Among them evolves a curious family, the Bréfort, renowned ferrymen of the Slack Bay, lead by the father nick-named "The Eternal", who rules as best as he can on his prankster bunch of sons, especially the impetuous Ma Loute, aged 18. Towering high above the bay stands the Van Peteghems' mansion. Every summer, this bourgeois family - all degenerate and decadent from inbreeding - stagnates in the villa, not without mingling during their leisure hours of walking, sailing or bathing, with the ordinary local people, Ma Loute and the other Bréforts. Over the course of five days, as starts a peculiar love story between Ma Loute... Written by
It's a surreal macabre comedy, populated mostly by nasty cartoons, many of them are simply grotesque. While Bruno Dumont, the writer director of this film does tell us a very clear story, namely we all will understand what did actually take place on this bay, he never bothers explaining the reasons for the bizarre behavior of his cartoon characters. So we get an unsolveable mystery filled with mean caricatures of the uppermost bourgeoisie and of the police. He does get some of the best actors and actresses in France hamming their way through this weird story. And I would've rated it higher if I thought there was a reason behind this folly. One thing is sure, even if Dumont has some bizarre reasoning for this story - he doesn't want to reveal it to his audience.
One more issue I have to refer to: the name of this film. In English its Slack Bay, which alludes to the bay and to the nature of its residences. In Hebrew it became Disappearance Bay alluding to the mystery taking place there. The French name, that probably is the original is Ma Loute, the name of one of the main characters of this movie. Each name signifies different intentions, and I can't see why the original French name wasn't kept. You don't really have to translate a name.
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