Dir. Alice Diop
2022, France, 122 min
French with English subtitles
Young novelist Rama attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter by abandoning her to the rising tide on a beach in northern France. But as the trial continues, the words of the accused and witness testimonies will shake Rama’s convictions and call into question our own judgment.
Saint Omer might be fiction, but Diop does not stray too far from her documentary roots. The film maintains a sense of naturalism even during its most tense moments. Diop’s directing style leans observational, as if she is watching and recording her screenplay’s effect on her performers.
– Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter
Saint Omer challenges accepted ideas of perspective, of subjectivity and objectivity — and even of what cinema can be when it’s framed by an intelligence that doesn’t accept those accepted ideas.
– Jessica Kiang, Variety