Black Ocean (Noir Ocean)


(out of 5)

Young sailors are fulfilling their naval duties on a French ship bound for Mururoa Island in the Pacific in 1972. The purpose is to go to the middle of the ocean and drop nuclear bombs for testing, but the lives of these boys are in emotional stasis as they contemplate their own coming of age while setting it against the terror of what they are about to witness. For one particular sailor, it is a process of quiet observation and the relationship he develops with the very charming canine who inhabits the vessel and immediately takes to him as his constant companion; for another it is a very affecting experience that opens his eyes to real horror. This gorgeous, meditative film never makes a false move, every shot a wonder to behold and the poignancy of its characterizations always sharp. Director Marion Hänsel gets a wonderful sense of anticipation out of the minimal story and then allows the fallout of the actual bomb test, which is a magnificent and terrifying sequence, to really sink in before the finale. An excellent tone poem of exceptional grace and beauty.

Man’s Films Productions, Asap Films, Neue Pegasos Films, Arte France Cinéma, ZDF/Arte, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Tax Shelter ING Invest de Tax Shelter Productions, Casa Kafka Pictures, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Région Wallone, Bruxelles Capitale, Région Rhône-Alpes, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Collectivité Territoriale de la Corse, Région Guadeloupe, CinéCinéma, Belgacom

Belgium/Germany/France, 2010

Directed by

Screenplay by Marion Hansel, based on short stories by

Cinematography by

Produced by , Marion Hansel, , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Toronto International Film Festival 2010


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