plot - fiori di baal

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“Fiori di Baal” is the first feature film by Florence-based director Leonardo Pepi. An independent production, it benefits from a good cast and a great crew that partly made up for the lack of funds. Filippo You Suk Oh took care of photography; costumes were completely made by Lucia Amaolo while Gherardo Filistrucchi took care of special effects and make up. Music was written by Laars Larsen of “Eraserman”, working on tunes composed by Kevin Macleoad.

The movie unfolds along a double track. On one side, the everyday life of a botany student; on the other, his oneiric/hallucinatory condition due to the discovery of an ancient book, the carrier of all the effects of an ancestral curse. Things get more complicated with the arrival at the University of a mysterious girl who seems to foresee the two students’ future and to know a terrible secret. How is she involved in this paranormal story? What are Baal’s Flowers?

The student, along with a friend, is caught in a mystery for him to solve, gradually enriched by new details and coups de théâtre. Dream and reality become intertwined, day and night mixed together. Images hang by a thread in-between the strong contrast given by daylight scenes and night scenes. Moreover, colourful filters concur in creating a surreal, dream-like atmosphere.

Temporal linearity often makes way to the kind of cyclic vision found in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. When order seems to reestablish itself in the centre of the action, four witches appear acting in a timeless dimension. Dancing around a boiling cauldron, they enjoy sacrificing helpless, zombie-like victims and plot in the dark while a decisive battle between two opposite sides of Evil is about to take place.

The viewer’s certainties are intentionally distorted and the alternation between dream and reality envelops this “oneiric thriller” in a fantastic atmosphere where everything is possible but nothing is real.

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