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Best Feature Film - Berlin Film Festival - Generation
Official Selection: New Directors/New Films Film Festival, AFI Film Festival
A winner at the Berlin Film Festival, VIOLET tells the story of 15-year-old Jesse who bears witness to his best friend's seemingly random murder at the mall. The attackers do not confront or acknowledge Jesse, and Jesse does not engage or pursue the attackers… he simply backs away. Why did this happen? Could Jesse have done more? Did he have an obligation? These are the questions posed by VIOLET, a carefully calibrated character study in the tradition of Gus Van Sant's PARANOID PARK of the process of coping in the midst of senseless trauma. Shot partially on 8-perf 65mm film by acclaimed cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis (Bullhead, The Drop), Bas Devos' meticulously calculated debut is constructed like a series of lush photographs. In each of the film's compositions we see a sophisticated mosaic of loss, the permanence of trauma, and the tumult of youth.