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From the Film Comment Selects Series: "Persecution"

directed by Patrice Chereau
starring Romain Duris, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jean-Hughes Anglade
The new film by one of France's best contemporary directors is both a moving character study of a tormented soul and a portrait of a relationship holding its own against the sad prospect of disintegration. Duris, who has moved from strength to strength as an actor, here engages in some of his finest work to date. He inhabits the role of a volatile young man who lashes out at everyone around him but who is, paradoxically, nearly always touchingly earnest in his desire to be kind to those he meets. He encounters his psychic match when a bizarre stranger -- Chereau stalwart Anglade -- becomes obsessed with him.

Chereau consistently has been an excellent director of actors and is well-served by a first-rate cast, but superb performances and an intelligent screenplay take second place to his dynamic mise-en-scene, with unbalanced widescreen compositions stitched together by brisk editing. The one disappointment here is the cinematography, less than scintillating as seen here in a transfer from digital to 35-millimeter -- Persecution would be an even more haunting story if screened in digital.

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