LET GOD SORT THEM OUT (2013)
Dieu Reconnaîtra Les Siens
Directed by Cédric Le Men
French Language with English Subtitles
Screened at Grimmfest 2014 Preview Night
A family are preparing for supper when a news broadcast on the radio alerts them to the rise of the dead that are now walking the land, and for the public to be vigilant against these undead terrors. With his youngest daughter suffering from a fever, the father must protect his family from the strangers who roam the grounds outside their home.
13 minute short film Dieu Reconnaîtra Les Siens is a hard-hitting, emotionally stirring narrative that says little in the way of words, but speaks volumes in the visual.
The short film focuses on a loving family, with the parents doting on the youngest daughter who’s suffering from a fever. When they hear the news broadcast on the radio, it seems they are trapped in their home. After the father is hit by a rock that comes hurtling through the window, he rounds his family up and hides them as he holds off the impending assault with his loaded shotgun.
The film is set in the French countryside in 1975 and the quaint essence of the short film gives the movie a unique, classic vibe that harks to period dramas and older films of the zombie genre. Dieu Reconnaîtra Les Siens, however, has a more realistic, human take on the walking dead idea with the viewers investing emotionally in the family rather than getting swept up in the action and the ‘all guns blazing’ attitude that is present in most modern zombie movies. The atmosphere in this film is much more sombre and less glamorised with the viewer feeling every bit of fear, angst and heartache that the family endures. When the film reaches its finale, it will reach inside your chest and firmly rip your heart out. The anguish that is visualised on screen will manifest itself in you, this is how impressive this little film is.
As I mentioned earlier, the characters in the film say very little but the camera laps up every look, move and action so the viewer knows exactly what is going on. Strong performances from the father, Lionel Auguste, and mother, Claire Guionie, help to create a loving environment that is violated by the arrival of the strangers outside their home. What starts off as a quiet, calm household quickly turns into a hive of panic and fear.
Visually impressive and narratively touching yet gut-wrenching, Cédric Le Men’s Dieu Reconnaîtra Les Siens is a short film that re-invents the genre and gives it a stunning, empathetic outlook.