‘The cloud’, when the grasshopper roars | Culture

In his remarkable feature film debut, Frenchman Just Philippot makes a realistic, ground-breaking family drama capable of flying like a dark, very dark fantasy in times of climate change. The story takes us to a sustainable agriculture farm where a mother of two children, a teenager and a boy, has put all her faith and income in raising grasshoppers, either to make flour with them or to convert their powerful protein into a common dish in the future. From there, Cloud explores a place of its own between the horror movie genre with killer bugs and psychological horror where the madness of a woman haunted by debt and social misunderstanding finds its distorting shadow in an angry swarm of grasshoppers.

Philippot turns the myth of the mad scientist trapped in his laboratory for a spin and achieves something as powerful as converting the Kafkaesque metamorphosis that served as a starting point to The fly by David Cronenberg on an inner journey that doesn’t need to make the monster explicit to be terrifying. A journey in which the viewer does not know if he or she is facing an apocalyptic plague or a vampire movie, because blood, with all its symbolic and cultural implications, will be a fundamental part of this harrowing and successful descent into the hells of the mind. and nature.

Philippot draws on a classic scheme where the absence of the father affects that orphanhood that plans throughout the film and that affects a broken family balance. The stubborn single mother, who plays a wonderful Suliane Brahim, fights against the adversities of her company dragging her children behind: a boy attached to a white goat, the only pet of a broken home, and a misfit girl who collides with a mother who is the laughing stock of the people for wanting to turn some disgusting critters into an alternative food for a planet that is dying.

Philippot creates an intelligent and suggestive horror film, whose excellent soundtrack integrates the menacing hum of grasshoppers into the inner rhythm of the entire film and that of its main character. And where the harshness of rural life meets an almost conceptual revision of the genre, displayed in the multiple and disturbing planes of the greenhouses, with plastics whipped by insects that, as in that classic adventure from the fifties, When the crowd roars, they represent the cry of nature.

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