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CHRONIC

Director: MICHEL FRANCO

93 minutes, Mexico-France, 2015, Digital


This film was released 19th February 2016, and is no longer screening.

★★★★ The Irish Times ★★★★ The Guardian 

David (Tim Roth) is a Los Angeles homecare nurse for the terminally ill; we observe him in the delivery of respectful, conscientious and compassionate end of life care for three specific patients. His private life is ordered yet lonely, and clearly of secondary concern to his work as caregiver. David’s selfless behaviour is, however, undercut by a worrying tendency to conflate the details of his own life with that of his patients; is this devotional attitude predicated on some repressed aspect of his own psyche?

Michel Franco brings to the material a formal rigour we expect from the director of After Lucia (2012); boasting Roth’s finest performance in many years, Chronic is composed of a series of coolly detached static long takes, bereft of musical accompaniment, with a narrative that reveals itself elliptically. The cumulative effect makes for raw, bracing cinema. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)

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