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Juste la Fin Du Monde (Only the End of the World, Einfach das Ende der Welt)
by Shelly Schoeneshoefer

Xavier Dolan;Canada

It takes 12 years for  Louis to return to his home and he struggles with the emotions of confronting  his family which he left behind. His mother, brother, sister and new  sister-in-law are waiting with anticipation and uncertainty to see the man who  made a life for himself elsewhere. They perform like they are playing charades  and constantly struggle with their unspoken histories and memories. Louis has  come to say something, but fights with the silence that has overtaken him. They  are clearly a family struggling with their emotional dysfunctionality and are  afraid to say what is in their heart.

This film has an  excellent international cast: Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and  Nathalie Baye and takes place mostly in the family house so it is tight and  controlled with swelling emotions which are trying to escape at every turn.  Director Xavier Dolan takes Jean-Luc La Grace’s stage play to another  level.  He made things happen in the film  which is difficult to do on stage. There are moments in this film where,  between the actions, are silence, sounds, memories, and color or a blurred  moment happens. If this film could produce smells, it would be hidden between  the lines as well. This film breathes and blinks in a way that makes you feel  that the film itself is a living being.

Before viewing the  film, there was an opening Skype message from Xavier Dolan, who apologized that  he could not attend the festival and praised the Filmfest Hamburg, as well as  Albert Wiederspiel and team for their support and generosity to him, Dolan, in  his efforts as a director. This seemed a bit strange, since he had already won  the Gran Prix at Cannes, but it could be that he was anticipating mixed reviews  like he had received at Cannes. In retrospect, I believe that Wiederspiel made  the right decision by including this film in the program as well as the Art  Cinema jury choosing this fantastic and memorable film as the recipient of this  award.  It clearly was my favorite film  from all the films that I saw in all the different categories.

This  family drama is a must see and opens on December 29, 2016 in Hamburg cinemas.  So go get your tickets and start the New Year off with a worthwhile film with  deep insights to a family’s psyche.