We talk to MICHEL FRANCO, director of SUNDOWN [VIDEO INTERVIEW]
Franco, a Mexican director who has been respected by the jury in Cannes for several years, disturbs the viewers’ vision of Roth in his latest drama Sundown. Franco uses Roth as a silent actor – this marriage of silence with the director’s slow style gives us a demanding yet exhausting study of a man suffering from depression in his middle age.
“The content of Sundown is devastating from the start – Neil Bennett, played by Roth, is vacationing in Acapulco with his sister Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her two children. He is a man who values peace: he doesn’t say much in the first scenes, which leads us to categorize him as an “introvert”. One day, the whole family receives the news that Neil and Alice’s mother has just passed away. Sadness quickly turns into panic – the heroes immediately pack up and go to the airport. Only Neil decides to stay in Mexico and continue his vacation. Although he says he left his passport at the hotel, he does not board the next plane. Using a lie, he completely cuts himself off from his loved ones and starts a “new life” in one of the Mexican hotels. He doesn’t answer the phone from anyone, goes to the beach, sunbathes, walks and pretends every day as if nothing has happened. He’s withdrawn – it seems to be his way of coping with the loss.”
Here’s the interview with Polish subtitles: