Focus on Les neiges du Kilimandjaro Director Robert Guédiguian

Focus on Les neiges du Kilimandjaro Director Robert Guédiguian

Focus on Robert Guédiguian by Nick Shaw, British member of '27 Times Cinema'* Marseilles-born filmmaker Robert Guédiguian has been consistently making politically charged, acutely observed films in his home town for twenty years. His regular use of the same cast and locations gives his body of work a continuity that makes watching his films a very intimate experience.

 

Much like Woody Allen's New York, the Marseilles of Guédiguian's straightforwardly told stories has become a character in its own right. Working consistently in this working-class area that looks towards the sea has given his films a strong sense of place. The piercing Mediterranean light, white buildings and background hum of big ships coming into port are all local ingredients that work in harmony to enrich the world of these films.

 

In his own words: “When you observe Marseilles from up high, you get the impression that the city is relaxed, calm, quiet. And in my imagination, when I see something that is quiet like that on the surface, I think that underneath there must be a lot happening.”*

 

It is this idea of Marseilles as a microcosm of the world that allows Guédiguian to tackle the political life so head-on in his writing. The son of a Marseilles dock-worker and former French Communist Party member, the young Robert was politicised by his father's experiences at the docks and has applied this element of autobiography to voice leftist concerns throughout his recent films.

 

The Snows of Kilimanjaro is his latest film.

 

* Via '27 Times Cinema' established in 2010, the LUX Prize gives the opportunity to 27 European young cinema lovers to be substantially involved in the Venice International Film Festival where they can watch, report and reflect upon films.