Watch | 18. Jul 2022

In Another Country

Here´s the movie that touched me the most this summer. Well, it came out already last year, premiered in Cannes and all - but I only now discovered it on Amazon prime and watched it last night: How I regret having missed the short life span of this movie on the big screen.

The movie was no success. Starring Matt Damon as a redneck from Oklahoma who travels to Marseille in the South of France to support his imprisoned daughter obviously did not reach an American audience, film critics included. They obviously felt intimidated by this Bill Baker character, his simple mind locked between working class depression and praying, always trying to do the right thing but having no one around to trust him on that.

Wouldn´t that be that very kind of American citizen politicians - and critics int big citys - so often forget about?

In the contrary the movie touched me by its honesty. And it is also quite exciting to follow this stubborn father on his path to prove his daughter´s innocence. And on that path meeting a woman he can open up to. And her daughter Maya (brilliantly played by Lilou Siauvaud) he shows the kind of fatherly concern he was too drunk and reckless to give Allison when she was a kid.

Bill can’t change French law, and it’s not clear that even if he could locate the guy Allison claims was responsible — an Arab who was there in the bar that night — he’d be able to overturn her conviction.

The guilt of that irresponsibility weighs heavy on Bill adds another dimension to Damon’s remarkable performance. There’s something caveman-like about the way the actor carries his body, in the scowl on his face and slow drawl of his Southern accent. The character has a temper problem, and from the looks of him, he could tear someone in two — although that might not be advisable in a foreign country.

The love story between Bill, potential Trump voter and gun owner and Virginie, single mother and theater actress, develops in a way that makes sense - as much as it is a fairytale.

Sayin´ that - I would have cared for a happy end. But how Bill repeats a sentence at the end his daughter Allison said in prison "Life is brutal".