Wednesday, 17 October 2012

LFF: Accession Review

Director/Writer: Michael J. Rix

Starring: Pethro Themba Mbole, Vusumuzi Ndumo

Plot: After finding out a one-night stand has led to him contracting HIV, John (Mbole) tries everything in his power to rid himself of the virus.

During Irreversible’s shocking rape scene, many cinema-goers fainted, threw up or walked out – it was a reminder of how powerful film can be at times. Chances are Accession will garner similar reactions as it unflinchingly shows two rape scenes, both with minors (minor in the most extreme sense of the word).

Following the main character John with a hand-held camera up close leads to believe we understand the man. At points, you can often see expressions in his face that allow you some insight into his mind but otherwise, he is a mystery. What he plans to do is never expected and the two scenes that will generate great discussion and debate are horrifyingly sudden.

It is a film that runs its course very fast and with too many static shots of little to no action it’s easy to think of the film as a strung-out short. Many sequences with heavy dialogue are cut up recklessly adding no value to the film and making the pace uneven. One interesting aspect to the film is its colour that fades from bright oranges/reds of the sand to a grainy black and white as John gets more ill and more desperate. It’s a very subtle piece of aesthetic engineering that once noticed adds to the moral message reflected throughout.

Pethro Themba Mbole and Michael J. Rix are very bold and brave for making this film though it’s too rough around the edges to make it seem special. It’s certainly memorable through the pivotal scene but other than that it’s too bland.

By Piers McCarthy. Also posted on LiveForFilms

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