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Review | Don't miss Palme d'Or winner 'Anatomy of a Fall' at Perth Festival

Anatomy of a Fall | Dir: Justine Triet | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

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Successful German writer Sandra (Sandra Hüller) likes to mix truth with fiction. She has been living for the past year in a remote part of the French Alps with her French husband Samuel (Samuel Theis) and their eleven year-old son Daniel (Milo Machado Graner).

At the start of the film, Sandra is being interviewed by a young journalist when Samuel’s obnoxiously loud music from the floor above makes it impossible to continue and the journalist leaves. Then visually impaired Daniel returns from walking his dog, to find his father has fallen to his death from the third floor of their chalet, leaving blood seeping into the snow.

The authorities cannot decide whether the fall was an accident, suicide or murder with Sandra being the only suspect. When Sandra declares her innocence to her friend and lawyer Vincent (Swann Arlaud), he says that he doesn’t give a fuck about the reality as it is people’s perceptions that will determine the outcome.

Sandra and Samuel’s turbulent relationship ends up being the focus of the trial as cracks are exposed, and the discovery that the bisexual Sandra had an affair with a woman weighs against her.

Director Justine Triet says, “The courtroom is essentially where our history no longer belongs to us, where it’s judged by others who have to piece it together from scattered and ambiguous elements. It becomes fiction, and that’s precisely what interests me.”

The winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, Anatomy of a Fall is an engrossing two and a half hours with suppositions filling in the blanks while a jury and the audience try to work out what is truth and what is fiction.

Anatomy of a Fall will screen at UWA’s Somerville from Monday 1 January to Sunday 7 January. Tickets and further information is at perthfestival.com.au and 2 for 1 Tuesday tickets are only available at the venue.

Lezly Herbert


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