Animals (2021)

Brahim is a young man, his mother's joy. One day he will find the love of his life. He will become a family man, he will make everyone proud. One day he will be mature and fulfilled. One day. Nabil Ben Yadir's Animals reconstructs a homophobic hate crime and traumatizes with its drasticness - and the guilt that the medium bears upon itself A film like Animals doesn't quite fit the zeitgeist. Recently, queer cinema has repeatedly made an effort to tell new stories, to rethink and depict normality. Above all, this also means freeing queer characters from narrative patterns that only connote their supposed otherness with suffering and conflict. Now Nabil Ben Yadir comes along and intervenes with just such a narrative of suffering. A new normality, the prospect of a more tolerant coexistence, is a long way off for him. The utopian is eaten away by continuing discrimination, by dominant cultural structures. Yadir's new film is disillusioning, accusatory. His only hope is one of purification through disruption. For this we have to follow the homosexual protagonist into the catastrophe, caused by a reactionary, homophobic environment. The director used the real murder of a Muslim in Liège, Belgium, in 2012 as a template. The title alone is a statement: Animals. Animals. And this film is animalistic. In particular, the half-hour middle part is basically not visible in its violence. Nabil Ben Yadir presents his true crime story as a triptych. Framed by two festivities that break up the everyday and at the same time intensify its crises. Overshadowed by the aforementioned middle section, in which the film unhinges its own point of view. Gaspar Noés Irreversiblehad acted in a similar way. Not only in the comparably explicit representation and duration of the abominable. Also in dealing with a violent sequence as the center and temporal caesura, around which the to a certain extent interchangeable before and after revolve like a dark spiral.

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