France/Austria, 2009, 108 minutes
Sun, Apr 25 / 3:00 / Kabuki / DOMA25K
Tue, Apr 27 / 6:15 / Kabuki / DOMA27K
Wed, Apr 28 / 9:30 / Kabuki / DOMA28K
This moody, contemplative drama explores the unusual and unusually intimate relationship between an aunt and her nephew. Nadine, a single mathematician in her 40s, is struggling with alcoholism. Pierre, her 17-year-old nephew, is coming to terms with his sexuality. First-time filmmaker Patric Chiha, however, doesn’t package things so neatly. Instead, he reveals this story patiently and with suspenseful restraint allowing room for silence, facial expressions and body language to do their work. Indeed, the pair’s precise relationship unfolds with provocative ambiguity. Nadine’s alluring mystique, however, remains unmistakable. She’s worldly, educated, wild and mischievous; and she dazzles Pierre with captivating stories from her past on their daily walks through the park. They seem to be happy only when together, and their closeness borders on the inappropriate but doesn’t actually cross into the taboo. It is strange, nonetheless. Pierre picks out her dresses, tucks her in at night and sometimes even washes her legs. He ditches his friends for her. Nadine seems to need him too, but as her alcoholism gets worse, their closeness unravels. Béatrice Dalle’s Nadine is mesmerizing throughout. She’s unpredictable and mysterious but also somehow comforting. Domain is in some ways a coming-of-age story and in others a love story, but Chiha doesn’t play either straight. The result is something much more complicated and remarkable.
Presented in association with San Francisco LGBT Community Center. North American Premiere.