(La lapidation de Saint Etienne)
Pere Vilà i Barceló / E - F, 2012
French verison / English and Czech subtitles, 80 min
Etienne is a sick old man living alone in a cramped apartment full of stuff. He won’t get rid of it all and he would never think of moving out, even though the flat doesn’t belong to him. He refuses to talk to the social worker, his neighbours or to the owner of the flat believing that the souls of his dead wife and daughter are still present within its walls. The symptoms betrayed by the main character in the film, whose title is inspired by the frequent depiction of the myth of St Stephen’s martyrdom, are in no way unusual in the modern world. The themes of old age and loneliness are not conceived within a traditional psychological narrative, where the film develops a story for the central character with varying degrees of intensity. We discover very little about Etienne’s past and can only surmise the reasons for his strange behaviour from the indications he gives us. In the spirit of contemporary Catalan cinema, the filmmaker aims for stringency, even to the point of abstraction. He entrusted the role of Etienne to Lou Castel, who faithfully embodies the irritating combination of corporeality and intellect.