About the author
This a contribution by Shushan Khachikyan from Yerevan. She works as a copywriter for multiple local and international companies and has an avid interest in literature, cinematography and painting. This article investigates Amsterdam-born filmmaker David Verbeek’s Full Contact.
Each year the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival (GAIFF) brings the best and the brightest films from different countries together turning the city life into a real holiday for all cinemaddicts. Тhe film Full Contact, directed by David Verbeek, left an indelible impression on the audience with its mystical realism. Verbeek creates a thin line between reality and illusion, subjectivity and objectivity, subconscious and conscious mind, civilization and anarchy, technological progress and regress. Sometimes this line becomes blurred, turning myth into reality and reality into myth.
As Verbeek mentioned during the conference held within the framework of GAIFF 2016, the cave featured in the film is an allusion of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. And it is not a coincidence that the filmmaker chose this myth which perfectly reflects the very essence of the film. The film is made up of three sections which technically can be made similar to the three parts of Plato’s work; ‘Imprisonment in the Cave’, ‘Departure from the Cave’ and ‘Return to the Cave’. By combining platonic archetypes and technological drawbacks of the modern world, Verbeek presents a brilliant work of postmodern cinematography.
Full Contact enables observers to make various interpretations through a subjective approach, which speaks for the film’s greatness.
In Illiad Homer describes war as hell. The first segment of the film has a similar metaphor: because of an error the main hero Ivan bombs a school which according to Verbeek later on scars many soldiers’ psyche with post-traumatic stress disorder. This is when Ivan’s journey to his subconscious hell kicks off.
In the second part the hero is closer to the people he killed. Distance decreases, the intense feeling of guilt awakens in Ivan’s head. Here the presence of a dog is very symbolic, which according to the film director is representative of the third, the one who follows the hero. The famous line of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, “Who is the third who walks always beside you?” seems to be reflected here.
In the third section, the hero abandons his sins. When in the confessional, he says, “I do not want to be forgiven, I want to be reborn.” Here the hero once again meets the people he killed, but this time he fights with hands, he is open, he allows himself to be vulnerable and maybe he is still capable of loving. Cindy plays a huge role here like Dante’s Beatrice who guides the hero to heaven through spiritual love.
Full Contact enables observers to make various interpretations through a subjective approach, which speaks for the film’s greatness. Check out the trailer below and go see this masterpiece for yourself.
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