Divine Carcasse (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - Belgium, Benin  |  
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The "body" of the title refers to an automobile. Slightly reminiscent of The Cadillac, a short film of the early '60s, this drama follows a Peugeot passed from one owner to another in the West African republic Benin. Dominique Loreau directed this Belgian-Benin co-production that begins when the used black Peugeot arrives by boat at the port of Cotonou for new owner Simon, who soon becomes disenchanted after several stalls and breakdowns. Simon passes it on to his servant Joseph, who immediately quits to start his own taxi service, but problems with both his wife and his fares lead Joseph to abandon the car. Sculptor Simonet goes to work on the somewhat stripped-down vehicle, soldering the chassis "carcass" and blowtorching it into an object of religious significance. The resulting spiritual totem is taken by elders to a remote village. Shown at the 1998 San Francisco Film Festival.