All the Moons
Following the bombing of her orphanage, a young girl (Haizea Carneros) survives but barely. A striking woman (Itziar Ituno) appears, offering to save her if she wants it “from her heart.” “I do,” the girl answers, “I don’t want to die.” The woman offers a cup of liquid, blood, and the girl wakes healed. Not only that, but her life is changed — from being an orphan, she now is daughter to a woman who promises they will be together for “all the moons” — because they are both vampires.
When the community of vampires is soon attacked and annihilated, the girl survives alone and must make her way in the world carrying the pain of separation, loss, and solitude. Over a lengthy stretch of time, she learns to tolerate sunlight and is taken in by a lonely farmer, Candido (Josean Bengoetxea), who has lost his own daughter in a tragic accident. With a new name and a home at last, she does her best to integrate, while the mortals around her ask her to eat garlic soup, accept the host, and change her clothes.
The film sits in the tradition of Let the Right One in, an emotional look at the burdens of being trapped by immortality. The film is lovely, with sensitive performances and rich with mood. The desire to connect is stronger than physical pain or hunger, and the loss of connection shows that even the undead can demonstrate compassion.
Alice’s webcam behaves strangely, blinking and turning itself on. Convinced she is being hacked and watched, Alice doesn’t do what one might expect. She doesn’t bring it to an expert to excise the cause of her concerns. She doesn’t even seem to be concerned for her safety. Instead, she turns the perceived hack into the launch point for a metaphysical discussion about virtual existence with various friends who we meet through her Skype calls. Alice continues to ponder the hack even after it seems to be over. She wonders if her presumed hacker has lost interest, if he’s sent hidden signs, if he’s trying to connect.
The video recordings of Alice’s discussion are candid and even at times seem profound. Or navel gazing. Although each person is bubbled in his or her own world at the end of a webcam, they find ways to connect. The film is largely carried by Alice’s curiosity and probing both of what happens and how she and her friends approach the situation. Overall, if you’re into films where adorable French people consider what it means to live virtually from many angles, this will be for you. Otherwise, it’s a tedious hour of annoying young adults hyper-analyzing minutiae.
Fantasia continues until August 25 with both online screenings and in person screenings. For information on the Festival and to get tickets, head to the site HERE.