Everything will be ok – Berlinale review

Everything will be ok – Berlinale review

The 21st century and it’s catastrophes from the eyes of Rithy Panh. Opression, war, the destruction of democracy, masks and vaccination. In this new film that somehow founds its way to the Berlinale Competition, Panh mixes collages of historical events in split in 4 or 6 screen. We see the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and others in those lines, mixed with war, destruction and his animal kingdom animation. The latter seems to be stop motion, but ultimately is just stop, with no motion of the animals or the people. Incoherent sometimes pictures in a documentary that tries to sum up the history of oppression and the wrongdoing in this world, but somehow ends up depicting masks and vaccination as a form of it.

And unfortunately is not that the current pandemic is not being used as a form of oppression in the developing or underdeveloped or even in the developed world. Governments overdoing it with measures, lockdowns without subsequent investment in the health system, police state are just some examples in lots of countries even in Europe. But the “pandemic oppression” in the film comes with the clear depiction of masks as a form of oppression which they are certainly not. Carlo Chatrian mentioned in the presentation of the Berlinale program that there are not many pandemic centered films, and that people are not willing to see actors in masks. Probably he should have chosen accordingly for the puppets as well.

But living the pandemic issues aside, Panh’s film is nothing new to the philosophical documentary genre. There are tons of depictions of war atrocities, or atrocities to nature. The only ideas that are interestingly expressed are the animal rights ones, with the contrast of the animals in his animation and the butchering of millions of animals adding another level of awareness on the issue, in his otherwise mediocre documentary.

by Rithy Panh

Country: Cambodia, France Year: 2021
Runtime: 98’
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