TIFF 2017: Creatura Dada

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It almost feels folly to describe Caroline Monnet’s Creatura Dada with any kind of sincerity. I could certainly do it, but it will take you more time to read my blurby review than to actually watch the film. I watched it four times in preparation, and each time I noticed something different.

At a scant four minutes long, you’d think there couldn’t possibly be much going on. But, there’s a lot of content in those four minutes. Ostensibly, Creatura Dada seems to be a bridal shower or even a women’s-only rehearsal dinner. The women, all of indigenous descent, consume a luxurious seafood meal in many courses, bordering between the gluttonous and the celebratory. At one point, it becomes clear that the meal is being shown in reverse – sort of. At another, the women dance or sway to the music while staring straight to camera, organized in generations.

Monnet means to convey a great deal here. Does she focus on the rapacious appetite of modernity, or the jubilance of celebration? Does she play with the flow of time to encourage us to consider the past transgressions against the indigenous, or to encourage a discussion of regret?

As I’ve said, it’s a quick feast, and the interpretations must come quicker. The film will undoubtedly strike some as poignant, others as pretentious. But Monnet clearly has a point – it’s up to you to decide whether she delivers it.

Screens (as part of Short Cuts Programme 3):
Friday, September 15, 6:30 PM, Scotiabank 10

Tickets can be purchased at the TIFF website.