day twelve: time of the wolf. [another day, another movie – post-apocalypse.]

This is by far the most brilliantly crafted and affecting of the films so far. There isn’t a close second. Time of the Wolf is a dark, quiet, terribly real film about what the western world might actually look like in the wake of a truly and completely catastrophic event.

The film has no music, the dialogue is sparse, the cinematography is simple and beautiful. We never discover what caused the apocalypse, we don’t even really know if it was worldwide or just French; we simply see the effects on ordinary people trying to move away from city centers and survive in the country. The film has moments of troublingly ordinary violence, but never in frame. There is no gory voyeurism. Whatever voyeurism may be at play is purely emotional.

It’s a difficult film to watch. It is one of those films where you are always tense, always waiting for something terrible to happen again. In that way, it is masterful in helping the viewer enter into the world inhabited by the characters on screen.

The world depicted is so ordinary, so like our own. The small kindnesses and cruelties are our own. I watched, wanting to believe that people wouldn’t really behave this way, when the chips were down. Yet, we do. Every day, all over the world, we kill and rape and destroy. I became aware watching this film that many times the violence of humans in extreme situations is simply a violence that has always lived in them, finally given a reason and opportunity to manifest itself.

While, as I say again, this is a hard film to watch, I recommend it as highly as I can. This film should have been hopeless. I expected it to be, even many times during the viewing. Instead, I found myself feeling a profound hope when all was said and done, with a powerful message for me, in my day to day life, pre-apocalypse.

Throwing ourselves on the fire cannot have any hope of redeeming a broken and bleeding world. Only loving each other can do that.

    • jev
    • March 11th, 2011

    mmmm, yes please! could this possibly just be the french version of “the road”?

      • Scott
      • March 16th, 2011

      Yeah, there are so many similarities in tone and theme. Maybe it could even be seen as a similar apocalypse, but at different points in how far removed the world was from the cataclysm.

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