Ennemis Interieurs (2016) Short Film Review

An Algerian-born man (Hassam Ghancy) applies for French citizenship. At least, that’s what he thinks he’s there for. Instead, he becomes party to prejudiced politics and interrogation.

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Ennemis Interieurs is a series of elongated conversation scenes between the man and the government official (Najib Oudghiri). They are scenes largely told in shot-reverse shot, yet the editing keeps the drama feeling dynamic.

This and a fast-paced, icy script of dialogue makes the film more than just a conversation between two characters. There is a power to the tone of the film, and the shifting trajectories for our victim-hero lead to tragic results.

The single setting is limiting, however, in terms of dramatics. Through subjectivity, we are taken out of the interrogation room, but only briefly. Too briefly.

Aside from the scripting and pacing, Ennemis Interieurs is largely unremarkable. It has intrigue enough to carry attention through its shortened runtime, but the cinema of it is lost in its isolation. Thankfully, the editing takes the place of visual beauty, but there is something distinctly lacking about the simple camera display of the film.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

 

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