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The Trouble With Being Born

In the end, The Trouble with Being Born suffers from the same issue as its moody androids: enervation borne out of repetition. There are some attempts here and there to comment on the replacement of human connection with silicone facsimiles. We almost never see people together. The only time the mother, who spends much of her time walking her dog and wistfully pondering the past, is with another person is when her son drops off Elli. Shopping malls, car-choked roads, and distant skyscrapers dominate the landscape. But rather than truly exploring the ramifications of its futuristic conceit, whether from a broader societal or individualistic and relational perspective, the film just keeps looping back to the same luminously filmed but ultimately blank silences.

The Trouble With Being Born

The jury in the Encounters competition of the 70th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival decided to hand out its Special Prize the second feature film by Austrian filmmaker Sandra Wollner. After making her debut in 2016 with documentary The Impossible Picture [+see also: trailerfilm profile], the director, born in Leoben, once again explores the dark realm of memory and desire in her controversial nihilistic science fiction story The Trouble With Being Born [+see also: trailerinterview: Sandra Wollnerfilm profile].

A child actor plays the role but her identity has been camouflaged with a stage name, a wig and a prosthetic mask and the most contentious scenes were done with visual effects against a green screen. Nonetheless, you could argue that Wollner and her screenwriter, Rodrick Warich, are being unnecessarily provocative by making Elli so young. Wollner has said she originally saw her as a 20-year-old and she hasn\\u2019t really explained why she changed her mind. If she hadn\\u2019t, I doubt the film\\u2019s impact would have been blunted. It would have remained a strange, haunting parable about innocence exploited.

'Not to be born is undoubtedly the best plan of all. Unfortunately it is within no one's reach.'In The Trouble With Being Born, E. M. Cioran grapples with the major questions of human existence: birth, death, God, the passing of time, how to relate to others and how to make ourselves get out of bed in the morning.In a series of interlinking aphorisms which are at once pessimistic, poetic and extremely funny, Cioran finds a kind of joy in his own despair, revelling in the absurdity and futility of our existence, and our inability to live in the world.Translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and critic Richard Howard, The Trouble With Being Born is a provocative, illuminating testament to a singular mind. 041b061a72


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