Sunsets and secrets in Albert Serra’s mysterious, mesmerising drama.
At Tahiti’s Paradise Night club, France’s highest government Commissioner De Roller (Benoît Magimel) tells a French Admiral he’s heard some of the club’s scantily clad women have been aboard the Admiral’s nuclear submarine. As De Roller deals with passport issues, hosts honorary lunch’s and acts as a liaison for mistrustful locals, he keeps his ear to the ground and eyes on the ocean trying to determine if widespread rumours about the resumption of devastating nuclear tests are true.
For a film that is relatively quiet and flows slowly along, there is a lot happening. Throughout the film’s 165 minute running time, we follow De Roller on pursuits large and small but his main focus is on the Admiral and the potential threats that surround him. Driven out to the cliffs in his white Mercedes, De Roller scans the horizon with binoculars when he isn’t observing the comings and goings of motorboats in the bushes with his partner Olivier. A terrific, understated performance from Magimel and some breath-taking cinematography of the island paradise make Pacifiction an undeniable oddball treat.
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