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This Magnificent Cake! [Blu-ray]
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An official selection at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Toronto International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival, This Magnificent Cake! (Ce Magnified Gateau! ) is an unforgettable work of stop-motion animation exploring the bitter milieu of Belgium-occupied Congo. In the late 19th century, keen to compete with other European imperial powers on the continent, King Leopold II of Belgium proclaimed, “I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake. ” The subsequent occupation of the Congo would come to attract a contingent of servants, merchants and miscellaneous bourgeois driven by everything from insatiable greed to existential fear. From the intimate stories of these characters—many of whom pass through a luxury hotel in the middle of the jungle—emerges a greater narrative concerning the imperialist mentality. In a film by turns surreal, darkly comic and brutal, directors Marc James Roils and Emma de Safe ultimately turn their critical gaze on the colonists themselves in a work of stunning, mysterious beauty. Special Features: Behind-the-scenes gallery Interview with Marc James Roils The Burden (2017, a short film by Nike Lindros von Bahr) Oh Willy. . . (2012, a short film by Emma De Safe & Marc James Roils)
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Negative: For the casual viewer the stories (supposedly satirical, metaphorical, symbolic) seemed too obscure, and fragmented.
Conclusion: Entertaining, but not something I'm going to remember.