DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

The Year of the Everlasting Storm

Director - Jafar Panahi, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. - 2021

"Filthy genius movie"
Anthology movie about the pandemic was created by seven magnificent filmmakers and exudes both joy and pain, while also inviting viewers to reflect about their own lives

In retrospect, the title might actually have been optimistic. Billed as a “love letter to cinema” and featuring seven well-regarded directors from across the globe, The Year of the Everlasting Storm brings together seven stories set and shot during the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly in the year of 2020. At times joyous, ponderous, profound, and even frustrating, the film invites its audience to reflect on the pandemic’s toll on our lives, but also on how life has, mostly, gone on much as it did before (for better or worse).

The film’s stories are compact, but far from perfunctory. A lizard and a grandmother find peace amid the afterglow of new life (Life, Jafar Panâhi), a young family struggles to adjust to life in quarantine (The Break Away, Anthony Chen), a father stays connected with his young children over video chat (Little Measures, Malik Vitthal), a surveillance company’s attempts to disrupt and destabilise the lives of journalists are documented (Terror Contagion, Laura Poitras), a mother records her choir parts and visits her daughter’s newborn child from afar (Sin Título, Dominga Sotomayor), a box of letters leads to an encounter with the past (Dig Up My Darling, David Lowery), and a white bedsheet provides the backdrop for a swarm of insects (Night Colonies, Apichatpong Weerasethakul). Seven stories diverging from a single, tragic, source, depicting the diversity of human experience, but also underscoring our fundamental, shared, humanity.

The ’90s saw an increased cultural fascination with chaos theory (colloquially, “the butterfly effect”), in particular its focus on how small changes in the initial conditions of a complex system can produce large and unpredictable differences in its resultant state. The famous “butterfly flapping its wings” metaphor seemed to catch on not only because of its inherent provocativeness but because the world was becoming vastly and irreversibly interconnected—suddenly, we could appreciate how seemingly minor events in one region might have massive impacts around the globe.

That’s what makes The Year of the Everlasting Storm important. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of every person on the planet, an experience unique in human history that should have forced the realisation that, despite our differences, we all come from the same flesh and blood. But the 2020 pandemic was just a warm up for the climate disasters coming in our lifetimes. Unless we recognise our shared fate soon, we may end up ceding the planet back to the primeval creatures that preceded us.

It’s fitting, then, that the film begins and ends with creatures (lizards and insects specifically) that once ruled the earth in our absence. However, the two segments are decidedly different in their outlook. In Panâhi’s Life, humanity reconciles with the natural world; but in Weerasethakul’s Night Colonies, only the vestiges of humanity remain. Between these options are five tales of human resilience and hope, emphasising that the choices that will determine our fate are ours and ours alone.

The Year of the Everlasting Storm premiered in Cannes and it will show in UK cinemas soon. Stay tuned for the date.



"Filthy genius movie"

By Justin Khoo - 01-12-2021

By Justin Khoo - 01-12-2021

Justin is an associate professor of philosophy at MIT. Before coming to MIT, he did my graduate work in philosophy at Yale, and was an undergraduate at UC-Davis. He works in philosophy of language and...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Another year has gone by, and DMovies is [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]

Read More

Seven books that became dirty movies

 

Mariano Garcia - 30-11-2022

Our reader Mariano Garcia blends cinema with the fabulous world of literature, demonstrating that it is indeed possible to grab popcorn and read a boom at the same time [Read More...]

The Flour Test (O Teste da Farinha)

Victor Fraga
2022

Eoghan Lyng - 30-11-2022

Brazilian journalist and filmmaker offers British viewers an overview of his native country, and its complicated history of male homosexuality. [Read More...]

PÖFF’s Critics’ Picks Competition: The Aftermath

 

Jeremy Clarke - 29-11-2022

Jeremy Clarke assesses his first visit to the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, and his views of the brand new Critics' Picks competitive strand [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *