Napalm (Dir. Claude Lanzmann, 2017)
Date: September 24, 2018
Location: Downtown Independent
Address: 251 S. Main St, Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Los Angeles premiere!
A tribute to Claude Lanzmann, co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum.
Napalm is the story of the breathtaking and brief encounter, in 1958, between a French member of the first Western European delegation officially invited to North Korea after the devastating Korean war (4 million civilians killed) and a nurse working for the Korean Red Cross hospital, in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Nurse Kim Kun Sun and the French delegate had only one word in common, that both could understand: “Napalm”, hence the title. Claude Lanzmann returned to Korea without the permission to film and each take represents an extraordinary victory over the permanent control of the regime’s political police, who discovered the real reasons for his return, sixty years later, to the peninsula of this extreme North. (uniFrance)
A mini-masterpiece... to my mind one of the year’s most romantic films.
Christopher Small, Sight & Sound
[A] fascinating and gripping story, at least partly for what Lanzmann leaves out and a possibility he does not wish to acknowledge
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
It’s in the natty particulars and the way Lanzmann remembers them — slow, honest, sometimes arduous — that Napalm finds its value as a cultural document and political statement. [It's] deeply realistic about the pain and impossibility of human experience in a hawkish world in which gunless wars are the unremitting norm.
Jaymes Durante, 4:3
Napalm mines Lanzmann’s own prejudices and past to reveal that a mere passing anecdote in the 20th century’s political and human history in fact holds at its core the wisdom of the tragedy of the battle of communism and capitalism.
Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook
A supreme storyteller... In Napalm [Lanzmann] uses his own experience to fuel the narrative. What results is a unique look at a place and people who we have mostly known through news reports or government propaganda, but rarely in movies through such a human point of view.
Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter