10 November 2021

Robert Guédiguian's Ki lo sa ? (1985)

Robert Guédiguian returns to the present, and here we have four childhood friends who, among a number of others who don't turn up, have agreed to meet at the same place after ten years. Again, the viewer has to suspend disbelief as these people are surely at the very least into their thirties, and so would hardly have been kids ten years before? But then, this is where Guédiguian's contempt for realism comes in: it doesn't matter. So, we have Dada (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) as host to any comers to the place where he is both gardener and cook, with absentee landlords. But only Marie (Ariane Ascaride), Gitan (Gérard Meylan) and Pierrot (Pierre Banderet) turn up. They stay the night but the following day is different and difficult.

Marie leaves as she has a 'date', Pierrot leaves with her, but Gitan stays to help Dada with the gardening, and Dada says he can stay as long as he likes. But gradually we're introduced to complications, to the despair of all four, and Marie returns without meeting her 'date', as does Pierrot, and Gitan just drinks. All of them seem to be desperate: Dada, hopelessly, loves Marie, who as a profession sells her body to men; Gitan, as his name suggests, is a tramp; and Pierrot writes wonderful words which Gitan exposes as copies of René Clar's words to Breton. Gitan is leaving but Dada implores him to take a coffee, which he does with the three others, and they all die poisoned. Shortly following this a large group of children climb over the wall and invade the garden, playing with the dead: are they from the four people's past or their own future?

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