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“The Fracture”: The bankruptcy of the French system in a tragi-comic hospital night

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Paddy Chayefsky, one of the most lucid screenwriters in film history, a broad connoisseur of the society of his time and of the ups and downs of the human being as a strange specimen laden with complexities, premiered in 1971 Anatomy of a hospital, a film by Herbert Ross, which not only examines what happened in a clinic during the madness and heart attack days of its professionally and privately drifting director, but above all the state of an entire country in a phase of numbness, nerves and paranoia, in the midst the Vietnam War, political assassinations and the presidency of Richard Nixon. In the form of a satirical comedy, over the top, loud and full of poison, the writer of the predecessor Martin and from behind network, a relentless worldalso a playwright and, along with Woody Allen, the only writer to win three Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, portrayed the state of a crumbling civilization.

Catherine Corsini, veteran French factory manager of all cuts and conditions but mostly with a hefty dose of social criticism, has attempted something similar to Chayefsky’s with Emmanuel Macron’s France, with the disintegration of the country and the social divide around it transitioning between 2018 and 2019 when the demonstrations and Yellow Vest protests threatened his presidency. The result is fracture, a night in the emergency room of a public hospital in Paris, also in the tone of a loudspeaker tragicomedy, ruin and life in the process of collapse, where the metonymy can already be guessed from the title. More than the late-night tale of a left-wing woman with a broken arm from a fall on the street and a Yellow Vest trucker shot in the leg by police, this is the story of a system’s bankruptcy. Or at least that’s what Corsini wants to tell us, that while he composes an interesting film in almost every aspect, he doesn’t have the depth or grace of Chayefsky.

Premiered in the official competition section of last year’s Cannes Film Festival, fracture It begins with the prologue with black comedy ahead. Then you’ll have moments of drama, tragedy and all mixed together, usually in just the right dose. But it is always social and political criticism imposed in a public building where not everything works as it should due to the decisions of the above: Sixth consecutive night on duty a nurse; closed units like psychiatry, where patients go to the emergency room for their medication; lack of drugs; patients huddled in one room after triage; beds in the corridors; Residents performing complicated surgeries… Sometimes he overdoes the emphasis anyway, and there the paradigm is the sequence where part of the ceiling and the power line fall a few inches from a patient and another figure underscores the message of the Dialogue: “Public health is collapsing.”

The picture Corsini offers of French hospitals is enormous, with tension, work and death within a span of time, while political talks are perhaps the most topical of his bet, highlighting the (supposed) transversal nature of the West movement, of obvious sympathy for the director and with the drama, necessity, and flaws that unite us all as the film’s best reflection. Doing everything we can to keep our jobs, physically, mentally, and professionally, is the worst symptom of a disease called system failure.


Address: Catherine Corsini.

Interpreter: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Marina Fois, Pio Marmai, Aissatou Dialo-Sagna.

Gender: Comedy. France, 2021.

Duration: 98 minutes.

Premiering: July 29.

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Source elpais.com

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