”Eventually there will be a murder”.

In these terms, the head of the Braguino family describes the conflict with his neighbors the Kilines. Clément Cogitore’s uncanny documentary Braguino is filmed in a remote place far, far away in the Siberian Taiga. It is filmed and scored like a dark fairy tale in which, separated by a fence, two families are in the middle of a bitter feud over the territory. This vast territory ain’t big enough for the two families.

There is a latent, if fascinating, violence-like suspense in Braguino. The way the patriarch of the Braguinos talks of the ‘others’ as a confidence, with a tone charged with indignation, sets for Cinematographer Sylvain Verdet to capture an anxious mood. Numerous shots look like furtive glimpses and shadows. The ‘others’ side is always shot from a distance that becomes unbearable. We feel them as a dangerous enemy lurking from its own window. The visual and sound editing is equally built in a way that conveys a great deal of tension and grows uneasy feelings. Éric Bentz’s intense music provides the final touch.

Clément Cogitore uses landscapes and forest in the ways of a Western film with a community living in self-sufficiency, as their Eden is put at risk, and  Braguino, despite being a documentary, refers more to some genre films of the likes of Revenant, Deliverance or There Will be Blood. A disturbing sequence, where the children of both families meet while adults are away, contains reminiscence of Peter Brooks’ Lord of the Flies and even the Sci-fi classic Children of the Damned.

Braguino is an unsettling odd object. A remarkable film.


Festival Screenings:

Nov. 12 2:00 PM
Pavillon Judith Jasmin Annexe (UQAM)
with French subtitles

Nov. 13 8:30 PM
Cinémathèque Québécoise – Salle principale
with French subtitles