Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Alternate title: The Four Times
Italy/Germany/Switzerland, 2010. Invisibile Film, Ventura Film, Vivo Film, Essential Filmproduktion GmbH, Caravan Pass, Altamarea Film, Ministero per I Beni e le Attivita Culturali, Eurimages Council of Europe, Calabria Film Commission, Torino Film Lab, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Regione Calabria, ZDF Enterprises, ARTE, Istituto Luce Cinecittà, RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera. Screenplay by Michelangelo Frammartino. Cinematography by Andrea Locatelli. Produced by Philippe Bober, Marta Donzelli, Elda Guidinetti, Gabriella Manfre, Susanne Marian, Gregorio Paonessa, Andres Pfaffli. Music by Paolo Benvenuti. Production Design by Matthew Broussard. Costume Design by Gabriella Maiolo. Film Editing by Benni Atria, Maurizio Grillo.
The Pythagorean theory of the soul’s four-fold transmigration is rendered on film as a wordless meditation on life and nature. We first observe an elderly Calabrian sheepherder who believes that good health comes from putting the dust from a cathedral floor into his water. Following its existence in human form, the soul goes from animal to vegetable to mineral as a goat is born, a tree is felled and then used in a charcoal kiln. Considering its high concept, the film is surprisingly not pretentious or lofty at all, but told with such straightforward honesty and curiosity that it comes across as beautiful and serene. Plus there’s that wonderful dog who interrupts the church procession.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2010