Après le sud | Kilburnlad | Film | Reviews

Kilburnlad

Après le sud


Après le sud

I'm not sure what the title Après le sud alludes to, but the English title, Heatwave, perhaps better describes the film. Set in the south of France on a sweltering hot day, we follow the lives of four people. A series of largely unrelated events lead to tragedy, but first the director sets the scene by introducing us to each of these people. Before the credits roll, we see Georges, an elderly man, who is lovingly cleaning his shotgun in his flat. This perhaps foretells of trouble to come, but at this stage everything is quite innocent.

After the credits we move to the apartment of Amélie, and her mother Anne. Anne is grossly overweight and we're treated to a very explicit view of the two women as Anne gets in the shower after Amélie steps out. Typical French realism. Amélie leaves for her summer job in a supermarket, while Anne, after a few household chores, sets off in a taxi. She leaves a message saying she's going to Aix, but in fact is headed for a clinic in Marseilles for gastric band surgery to control her weight.

We next meet Luigi, Amélie's boyfriend, who becomes very agitated when visiting the supermarket to speak to her. This leads to a chance encounter between Amélie and Georges, who is doing his shopping. Amélie later sees Georges again, who is sitting by the roadside as she is driving home. She offers him a lift and when dropping him off apologises for an incident that occurred in the supermarket.

These introductory sequences over, the film replays them from the perspectives of each of these people. We see why Luigi is agitated, what actually happened to Georges in the supermarket, which was unpleasant to the point of being degrading, and the outcome of Anne's trip to Marseilles. Meanwhile Amélie is seen reconnects with Luigi, and contemplates leaving with him for his native Italy. But fate has a habit of spoiling plans, and Georges, feeling degraded and no doubt affected by the heat, does something that will irreversibly change all their lives.

An interesting film that may confuse at first, until you realise that the story is being gradually revealed in multiple time-shifted layers.