Liberté (Dir. Albert Serra, 2019)

*From May 8-14, Liberté will be available to stream via Cinema

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Just before the French Revolution, in a forest outside Berlin, a band of libertines expelled from the court of Louis XVI rendezvous with the legendary German seducer and freethinker, the Duc de Walchen (Helmut Berger), to convince him to join in their mission: the rejection of authority and all moral boundaries. What begins as an evening of strategizing on the proliferation of libertinage, descends into a Sadean night of pansexual one-upmanship.

Liberté is a singular cinematic experience only Albert Serra could deliver, a film in which increasingly dramatic acts of pain and pleasure unfold in counterpoint to cinematographer Artur Tort’s luminous images of moonlit sylvan spaces. As Serra and his committed team of regular performers and newcomers "open the gates of Hell" and explore the limits of the erotic imagination, you won’t be able to look away.

 

Surely one of the most radical films to play in the Official Selection of Cannes ever.

Mark Peranson, Cinema Scope

Audaciously perverse and amorphous... Conjures a sustained ambiance and eroticism that's unique to the language of cinema.

Carson Lund, Slant Magazine

Liberté more than lives up to its title, suggesting that a truly free cinema is one that still believes in the possibility of subversion.

Dennis Lim, Artforum

The film's focus is on the interplay between exhibitionism and voyeurism, the seen and the unseen, lust and tedium, as cinematographer Artur Tort masterfully captures the carnal proceedings in images that recall the great neoclassical and rococo tableaux of Watteau, Fragonard, and Boucher. Liberté sees Serra at the height of his powers.
Andréa Picard, TIFF

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