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This month’s Film Club selection is NEITHER HEAVEN NOR EARTH, the acclaimed first feature from director Clément Cogitore, which Screen International described as “a strange mixture of the military, the metaphysical and the downright mysterious” and has been hailed by critics as “effectively spooky” (The New York Times), “unnerving” (Variety), “eerie” (The Village Voice) and “powerful” (Flavorwire).
Neither Heaven Nor Earth created a buzz at Cannes as a heady genre-bender, so we rushed to see it. On the surface it is a war picture with inferred supernatural overtones; a thriller in so much that it creates tension, but not the usual nail-biting kind. This scratches much deeper. We are brought into a dusty, desolate world seething with existential dread. The daily rituals of the displaced soldiers monitoring the area is soon upset by something unknown and unexplainable. As the men strive to glean any semblance of meaning from
this mystery they are only further entrenched in their own desperate fight for survival against something they cannot see or hear, but only fear. We were mesmerized by director Clément Cogitore’s intelligent film, which in showing less delivers so much more.