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Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind

This true crime drama from Ursula Meier is a searingly complex moral maze that lingers long in the mind.

Dir Ursula Meier
Prod Lionel Baier, Agnieszka Ramu, Françoise Mayor
Scr Ursula Meier, Antoine Jaccoud
With Fanny Ardant, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey
Sales Bande à part Films

French teacher Madame Fontanel (an astonishing Fanny Ardant) tasks her class with writing a personal journal, laying bare their innermost thoughts and feelings. One of her pupils, the despondent Benjamin (an equally impressive Kacey Mottet-Klein) uses the exercise to rigorously document his decision to commit double parricide. After the crime has been executed, he delivers his sprawling confessional directly to Madame Fontanel, implicating her in ways she could never have imagined. Produced as part of a Swiss TV series dramatising real-life crimes, Meier’s film is an austere, fiercely intelligent piece of work, as suited to the big screen as it is the small. Can art breed violence? And what is the responsibility of the educator when influencing impressionable young minds? This brooding think piece poses many thorny questions, refusing to trivialise them with easy answers.

Michael Blyth

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