Des Morts (N/N)
Director(s): Jean-Pol Ferbus, Dominique Garny & Thierry Z̩no
Fest Year: 2016
Warning: Contains graphic contentDes Morts begins with an American mortician in a crisp white lab coat grooming a dead body—the first of many visible herein—cleaning the hands with the intent efficiency of a trained manicurist. Alain Pierre’s electronic dirge scores the scene, one of the few instances of non-diegetic music in this otherwise stark, undecorated film. Operating in the globe-trotting spirit of Mondo Cane, Des Morts visits altogether six countries and three continents. We see funeral processions wending their way towards village cemeteries in Zéno’s native Wallonia and the theatrical ululation at a South Korean wake. But if the filmmakers’ initial schematic plan was to establish a binary dichotomy reiterating the Jessica Mitford/ Evelyn Waugh line of deploring the American Way of Death, it was complicated by the material they’ve gathered, and their evident empathy. (NP) Screens for free as a part of the Neither/Nor Film Series. Neither/Nor is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.