The title (“Black Sun”) is as evocative of solar eclipse as it is of the “dark spleen” which doctors, all through Antiquity, used to attribute to melancholic and suicidal drives, especially as they affected artists. Here such drives end up striking the existence of Antonia, an opera singer whose dark beauty brings light to the film. Through discreet and elliptical staging, Laura Huertas Millán presents Antonia’s multi-faceted character. Family bonds are delicately explored not so much for an origin of evil but as a kind of introspective polyphony: the voices of aunt, mother and daughter (the director herself) are heard as she struggles, through fiction, to escape from her family’s fate. Relationships between body and mind, as well as depression and artistic creation, are highlighted through snippets, ongoing questioning and infinite tact. The film gradually spreads some of the poison gnawing at one’s mind and causing stomach aches, slowly releasing melancholia and deep sadness as they flow away from the bodies so closely looked at through words, breath, singing or weeping, and at times even while eating. Breathing in, breathing out: a task much harder than it might seem at first. The quest for truth unfolds through Antonia’s lifetime, both at times of strength and vulnerability: the soprano is condemned to sing in an empty hall, much like a sun no-one can look at directly without having one’s eyes burned. FIDMarseille
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