★★★★ | Evolution
Young boys and their mothers are the only inhabitants in a seaside town in the highly unusual film ‘Evolution.’
It’s a world without men, a world where each woman has one son, where they all live in similar white-washed yet minimalistic homes, right off the coastal rocks of an unnamed country.
It’s here where Nicholas (Max Brebant) lives with his mom (Julie-Marie Parmentier). She feeds him a greenish-like goulash soup at every meal, and also makes sure he takes his medication. She takes Nicholas to play along the rocks of the ocean with the other boys in town, each with their mothers close at hand. But at the heart of soul of this community is a hospital, staffed entirely by women, where all the boys are eventually hospitalized. It’s here at this hospital where the boys are subject to strange medical treatments that perhaps undermine the role of evolution. They are given shots in their stomach, administered to them while they lie strapped to a bed, females nurses surrounding them, with no emotion, all white, and wearing white. What does it all mean? What are the boys being given? And why does Nicholas’ mother, along with the other mothers, venture late at night next to the ocean and writhe naked with each other in the rocks?
French with English subtitles, ‘Evolution’ messes with our head with the idea that evolution (the beginning of life) is created by women, and that perhaps God is woman. Its imagery, tone and darkness reveals too much yet not enough. It’s a film that leaves the viewer attempting to interpret what they’ve just seen, what they’ve just witnessed.
‘Evolution’, directed by Lucille Hadzihalilovic, is a film that she says is steeped in elements from her childhood. The barren landscapes, a faceless hospital, and the rough seas gives us a dreamlike haze into a world of innocence, beauty and cruelty.
It’s film that’s not easy to watch – there are big gaps of silence, and the ending may be a bit confusing, but upon watching it you’ll get the idea of what message the film is attempting to deliver.
It’s beautiful yet strange.