Circles of Life
This Magnificent Cake!
Directed by Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef • 2018 • Beglium, France
Starring Jan Decleir, Bruno Levie, Paul Huvenne
In the late nineteenth century, keen to compete with other European imperial powers on the continent, King Leopold II of Belgium proclaimed, “I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake.” The subsequent occupation of the Congo would come to attract a contingent of servants, merchants, and miscellaneous bourgeois driven by everything from insatiable greed to existential fear. From the stories of these characters—many of whom pass through a luxury hotel in the middle of the jungle—this stop-motion marvel spins a surreal, darkly comic, and brutal interrogation of the colonial mentality.
Up Next in Circles of Life
Directed by Max Ophuls • 1950 • France
Starring Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, Simone Simon
Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, and Simone Simon lead a roundelay of French stars in Max Ophuls’s delightful, acerbic adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial turn-of-the-century play “Reigen.” ...