Cannes 74: ‘Ahed’s Knee’ Review
Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Hate and a half.
Lapid’s new movie is as dry as the desert in which all the story is set - the world did not need another film on a tormented film director in crisis.
The tedious protagonist lands in a small isolated Israeli village to present one of his works, but the welcoming curator of the event gives him a compulsory terms & conditions form to sign before the event can take place, in which the artist must declare the topics he intends to discuss. But this is unacceptable for the film director, whose insolent attitude degenerates into a crusade against the Israeli Ministry of Culture’s censorship. He does so by spitting (literally I’m afraid) at the camera a seemingly never-ending list of controversial political Middle Eastern topics which we all have heard countless times. Yet, he only names them, itemising cultural taboos without tackling them. Lapid hovers over the issues but he never dives into them.
Suppressing opinions and gagging artists is not an exemplary form of supporting culture, but there would be no harm to applying censorship for boredom in movies - especially when they seek to fight for controversy without being controversial in the slightest way. The point is, you can struggle for the right ideals without being such an asshole like the film’s fictional director. It’s Pain & Glory, but with a lot of pain and no glory whatsoever- the director’s Q&A escalated into a manhunt. Unfortunately, everyone was loudly yawning throughout the film, and I hope I didn’t get covid for such an awful piece of work.