Country: Belgium / others
Movie Review: Belgium-based filmmakers Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth (“Khadak”, “Altiplano”) continue their audacious work on writing, production, and direction, with the lyrical and intimidating “The Fifth Season”, a sensational drama about the consequences of nature/climate changes on human beings. Instead of focusing in global chaos, the duo preferred to choose a small and isolated village in Belgian Ardennes whose community struggles to survive. Along four seasons, the viewer witnesses a progressive decadence, with the ‘angered’ Nature refusing to give them the basic needs - the bees fled from the beehives, cows no longer give milk and were taken out by the authorities, while potatoes didn’t germinate as they should. All these aspects are presented together with weird interactions and unexplainable communication among men and animals, along with inherent senses of fear and helplessness that produces deep changes in everyone’s behavior. Another very strong aspect in the film were the rituals, whether presented in the form of traditional parades, whether in form of sect gathering where alienation, sacrifice, or purification, become the new real threats to humanity. “The Fifth Season” was extremely satisfying in its approach, creating great impact through its disturbing score, haunting images, and constantly involving us in its grim story of survival pelted with supernatural forces and symbology. The film collected important prizes at Valladolid and Venice film festivals.