Only One Film

in 70th Cannes International Film Festival

by Thomas Aidan

What to remember about the 2017 competition? Only one film comes to mind, as its proposal is a glimpse of hope for the future. BPM (Beats per minute) from Robin Campillo, like a heart that beats faster than the sound barrier, is magnificent visually and a narrative ode. In the early 1990s, when AIDS decimated many people for nearly ten years, two young boys from the militant association “Act Up-Paris” fall in love. This magnetic and warming film distils a truth of feeling at every moment, like a benevolent firefly that tells us the pleasure of enjoying triumphs over everything. Of course, the illness catches the story like a cleaver, but the fiery beauty of this hymn to love cannot go unnoticed. The beats per minute are those of the camera, which is always close to the formidable actors and those from people who want to live intensely, kiss voluptuously, without hindrance. This movie is a wonderful reason to live and fight against the coldness of reality.

It is luminous, never ostentatious, nor completely dependent on society. Never discursive, the narrative is humanistic and benevolent. Circulating life in a death enterprise is a feat. It is precisely because the film never loses itself about this sad enterprise that it evolves warmly and intelligently. Because BPM (Beats per minute) is full of intensity for our lives and our future, it touches just, without sweetening the real. It is a brilliant, beautiful and resolutely tender film, where love is king and life surpasses everything. Death may hunt people and decimate in bundles, but it is once again the feeling and the grace which are the main conveyors of the work.

Therefore, it is an important film, which tells us that we must not give up, that we must live in spite of everything. How can we live when we know we are going to die? How to love someone when we know that our life will come to an end? However, the film tells us that it is necessary to love in the face of all opposition, that we cannot subdue ourselves to the unfolding of life and that it is necessary, beyond contingencies, to take advantage of the present feeling. The true victory of both the narrative and the characters is to succeed in surpassing this pride and restoring to life its all-powerful power. This film is gracious and brutal at the same time, is irresistibly sublime. In these times of darkness and uncertainty, this humanist fable must not go unnoticed.

Edited by Alissa Simon