Der unverhoffte Charme des Geldes

A film by Denys Arcand. In French with German subtitles.

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Denys Arcand’s the­ma­tic suc­ces­sor to The Decline of the American Empire and The Barbarian Invasions cen­tres on a young man who­se life is chan­ged when he finds two bags of cash after an armed robbery.

As its tit­le indi­ca­tes, Denys Arcand’s new film con­ti­nues the inves­ti­ga­ti­on into modern socie­ty he began over 30 years ago with his remar­kab­le and for­ma­ti­ve Le Déclin de l’em­pi­re amé­ri­cain. If 2003’s Les Invasions bar­ba­res was a sequel of sorts, revi­si­t­ing many of the same cha­rac­ters, this new film is not. Nevertheless, it does com­ple­te a kind of infor­mal tri­lo­gy that loo­ks deep into Quebec socie­ty, its values, and its mores.

La chu­te de l’em­pi­re amé­ri­cain is built around the con­cept of money: what it means, how it is used, what value it has in our world, and what it can do to peop­le. Arcand’s prot­ago­nist, Pierre-Paul (Alexandre Landry), is a 36-year-old with a PhD in phi­lo­so­phy who ends up dri­ving a cou­rier truck, a line of work he belie­ves he is too good for. A sin­gle event chan­ges Pierre-Paul’s life: he finds hims­elf with a lot of money in his hands – and a choice. This money can pro­vi­de him the life­style he wants, but it can also lead to nume­rous hea­da­ches, name­ly in the form of ent­an­gle­ments with both poli­ce and the cri­mi­nal under­world. Pierre-Paul’s decisi­ons take him on an unli­kely voya­ge whe­re he needs all his wits to out­fox his various pur­su­ers, amongst whom are two rather dif­fe­rent women: a young pro­sti­tu­te who can free him, and a young cop who can put him behind bars.

Arcand’s pro­bing intel­li­gence turns the film into a sub­t­le inves­ti­ga­ti­on of con­tem­pora­ry socie­ty, a socie­ty whe­re the old social con­tract that once under­pin­ned our inter­ac­tions pro­ves hol­low. Marcus Aurelius jost­les with Rousseau and Machiavelli in this wit­ty and sar­do­nic sati­re.   (TIFF)

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Credits:

La chu­te de l’empire américain
CA 2018, 128 Min., frz. OmU
Buch und Regie: Denys Arcand
Kamera: Van Royko
Schnitt: Arthur Tarnowski
mit: Alexandre Landry, Maripier Morin, Rémy Girard, Pierre Curzi, Louis Morissette

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