7:30 PM, 9th June, 2017
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE EMBASSY OF GREECE
Chevalier follows a group of six middle-aged men on a fishing trip in the gorgeous Aegean Sea. These guys have wealth, robust health and lead care-free lives. With this much testosterone in a confined space there is bound to be trouble. Before long, the competition comes out in the open – they will judge each other on absurd, petty and humiliating activities with the overall winner receiving a chevalier signet ring, the coveted prize that gives the film its name.
Chevalier is a study of male antagonism seen through the eyes of female director Athina Rachel Tsangari. Despite the film having no female characters, Tsangari speaks with a feminist voice as she observes the farcical behaviour of these men from a perspective only a woman would be able to provide.
The addition of the ship’s crew brings another dimension to the film. As we are bemused by the aggression of this game, so are they. The upstairs-downstairs nature of their treatment throws into harsh light these men who literally live and exist ‘above’ throughout the film. The crew’s conversations about the game help to maintain the comedy, despite delving into some serious examination of male class privilege.
The Greek islands and the ocean lend themselves to the languid style of the cinematography; everything is beautiful, clean and pristine.
Named as Best Film at the London Film Festival in 2015 – and selected as Greece’s official submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category for this year’s Oscars – it is an extraordinary film and one that is unmissable for anyone who enjoys an insightful but disturbing comedy.