CH 2004 90'
Director: Romed Wyder
Script: Romed Wyder, Yves Mugny, Maria Watzlawick
Camera: Denis Jutzeler
Sound: Martin Stricker
Editing:: Orsola Valenti
Music:: Bernard Trontin, The Young Gods
Production:: Paradigma Films SA
With: Vincent Bonillo, Irene Godel, François Nadin, Delphine Lanza, Ulysse Prévost, Véronique Mermoud
The day Alex tries to put a virus in the computer system of a bank, a car accident makes him lose his short-term memory. When he wakes up in hospital, he discovers that he has been lying in coma for two days. What has happened?
WHAT IF, ONE DAY, TWO HACKERS MANAGED TO PENETRATE INTO THE HEART OF A FINANCIAL NETWORK?
Alex follows a therapy in order to recover his memory of the day of the accident. For him, visions and reality are thrown together in a confusing maze. Alex tries to escape from this muddle but what he discovers turns out to be rather frightening
AND WHAT IF THEY DECIDED TO PLANT A VIRUS THERE?
AND WHAT IF, THE SAME DAY, ONE OF THE HACKERS HAD A STRANGE ACCIDENT?AN ACCIDENT THAT WOULD MAKE HIM FORGET THE LAST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS...
The adversaries of the capitalist system and its defenders very often use the same methods to reach their goals. An act may be considered both as a terrorist act or as a necessary defence. Therefore, the question of who is the terrorist is only a matter of point of view.
AND WHAT IF THE HUNT WAS ONLY JUST BEGINNING, IN HIS LIFE, IN HIS HEAD?
Implanting a computer virus which disrupts financial transactions is generally considered a terrorist act. ABSOLUT is the story of Alex, the hacker who plants the virus. By identifying with him, the audience places itself on the "terrorist's" side without ever thinking of defining him as such.
AND WHAT IF NO ONE HAD EVER HEARD ABOUT ALL OF THIS?
In order to make the audience active, the plot of this political thriller is non-linear. Like a puzzle, it obliges the spectator to put pieces of information together. This also makes the film engaging and entertaining.
AND WHAT IF IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, IN SWITZERLAND, NOT SO VERY LONG AGO...
However, the story told in ABSOLUT is serious because one based on a terrible testimony. In order to protect the witness and for legal reasons, the plot has been adapted so that individuals and institutions involved cannot be identified.
In spite of all the research done, no definitive evidence has been found. But eventually, truthfulness looses importance when considering that such a story is absolutely possible and that it would certainly have been hushed up.
The film ABSOLUT also proposes a very complete Website with explanations on the origins of the project, some of the research done to verify evidence and links to other contextual sites. The site connects the film to everyday reality and invites the audience to take parts.
"Absolut is a cool, audacious paranoid thriller for the 21st century: a high-tech, twisty cross between THE YES MEN and THE PARALLAX VIEW which, crucially (and unlike fellow Rotterdam '05 title Primer) never lets its twists get out of hand, never becomes seduced by its own cleverness. And once again underlines the assertion (in a recent Variety review of another film) that "memory hocus-pocus is the new time-travel."
"Wyder is pretty good with the paranoia -- background characters continually turn up at various places, and it's unclear if they're villainous agents or harmless bystanders or figments of the hero's imagination. The straightforward digital photography, all those grey-blue tones that seem to visually define the 21st century, is well done, if not groundbreaking. And, narratively, it moves well, which is always one of my sticking points. But the problem with the warped-reality story is that it, almost by definition, moves well; since we're always unsure what's real, we're always on the edge of our seats, so the problems the screenwriter must solve come after that. How, for example, does one insert disruptions into the story's reality without it seeming arbitrary? And what, ultimately, is the reality distortion for, narratively and thematically? "
Kent M. Beeson