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Three Dancing Slaves (2004)

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Studio: TLA Releasing


GreenCine Member Reviews

Groundbreaker by talltale January 14, 2006 - 7:47 AM PST
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
For me THREE DANCING SLAVES (called "Le Clan" in its native France) is a near-perfect movie, groundbreaking, beautiful and rich. It's a family story, split into three chapters, each dedicated to one son, although all the stories intertwine. The family--Algerian mother, French father, mixed kids--suffers from the death of the mother, with father and sons attempting to find their way around this loss.

Both homoerotic and homosexual but much more than that, the film opens its lens--and the viewer's mind and spirit--to the much broader possibilities of family, love and sex. (It even includes a terrific sub-narrative about the workplace that combines economics, sociology, psychology and responsibility.) The location, a town that appears to be in the north near the French Alps, is ravishing (mountains, lakes, forests and more), as are the many young men on display throughout. There are practically no women here: One begins the film, we see photos of the dead mother midway, and a third appears toward the end. (Initially, I mistook her for a flashback of the younger mom, but no, it's the son's fiancée: Yes, we do marry our mothers.)

Director Gael Morel and co-writers Morel and Christopher Honore have created a film that is psychologically acute, visually stunning and with a narrative that manages to be elliptical but full. While little is spelled out, enough facts are given for any intelligent viewer to follow along and fill in the gaps. Among a marvel of rich scenes, two are unforgettable. One offers wrenching violence, the other a declaration of love as natural, believable, beautiful and profound as any I have seen. That the latter involves two young men--yet bypasses any hint of transgression, judgment or pseudo morality--is one of the reasons I call this film groundbreaking.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.20)
15 Votes
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