RUTH CAUDELI | COLOMBIA | 2022 | 89 MIN | SPANISH S.-T.EN.
A seizure, the pain of absence, an altered state of consciousness – Ruth Caudeli’s semi-autobiographical Petit Mal expresses each of its title’s meanings, deconstructing what happens romantically and psychically when a throuple’s central pillar must leave temporarily, forcing the remaining women to reflect on what binds them.
Moody, aimless Anto (Ana María Otálora) and strong-willed Marti (Silvia Varón) both light up in the presence of Lai (writer-director Ruth Caudeli). Their laughter infectious. Their camaraderie undeniable. Without Lai to align their energies, they face the deafening quiet of their remote house in Colombia and the question of whether affections can outlast absence. Lai’s long-distance selfishness the only thing they can agree on. If Lai returns, what will she be returning to: a stronger foundation or ruins? We witness relational cataclysms through shifting perspectives: the omniscient cinematic eye, camcorders and cell phones, social media posts, the footage of the throuple that Marti is trying to shape into a saleable narrative. Embracing the very cliches it examines, such as the use of B&W to convey stagnancy and music montages to cohere concepts, the film becomes a rumination on “originality” when reality is interminably subjective.
screening at Cinéma J.A. de Sève | NOVEMBER 18TH 7PM
ONLINE (November 19th to 23rd)