Locarno Festival Inaugurated


The inaugural film of sixty ninth edition of Locarno International film festival “The Girl With All the Gifts”, directed by Colm McCarthy, gained much appreciation and attention from the audiences. Moving away from the traditional war film genres which deals with dreadful eradication of zombies, this film reflects up on the curios relationship that develops between an infected girl and the teacher in a subtle humanistic manner. The story revolves around a ten year old child, Melanie, infected by the widespread fungus which turns humans in to human eating beast, and the teacher, Helen Justineau, who considers them as not alien, but as human beings. This humanistic relationship nurtured by the teacher and the “child hungries” runs through  more complications as they are all kept in a military base and under the surveillance of laboratory researcher.

Caught between these inhuman world of military and scientific research, this film tries to address the political question of “Otherness” at different levels. The ten year old child character, Melanie, the next generation of the zombies is neither a human nor a zombie, as she has got the mental capabilities of human being while at the same time being the human flesh eating beast. The identity of human at this level is being addressed by the film in the context of horror films. According to Mike Carey, the script writer, films should explore the horror of the contemporary life rather than going into the themes of past. Thus within the fabric of scientific fiction and horror movies genre, this attempts to characterize the political horror of the contemporaneity.

The new comer, Sennia Nanua, who played the lead role of Melanie in this film caught much attention from the crowd. As going by the words of the producer of this film, Sennia was the 500th girl to be auditioned  for this film. The chemistry between the teacher Justineau, which was played by the famous actress Gemma Arterton and Melanie, the half zombie and half human character is the main highlight of the film.