VINYAN, a new film variously described as a “supernatural thriller” and a “tsunami horror film,” recently screened at the Venice Film Festival. Because the film’s jumping off point is a real-life 2004 tsunami, some have questioned whether the project is in good taste. French actress Emmanuelle Beart and British thespian Rufus Sewell star as a couple who lose a child in the storm but refuse to believe he is dead; their search leads them to a hidden jungle ruled by savage children.
Director Fabrice Du Wltz defended his work to Reuters:
I don’t want to be unpleasant to people who have really suffered from the tsunami,” said director Fabrice Du Welz.
“I tried to be as respectful as I can,” he told Reuters in an interview on Sunday. “I am, with Vinyan, respectful with people,” he added, speaking in English.
“There is no provocation with me. I am really at peace with that. I don’t want to shock anyone who suffered from that terrible disaster. There is no footage from the tsunami.”
The only direct reference to the disaster is at the start, with a series of underwater shots and muffled sounds.
The remaining narrative follows the desperate and devastated couple several months after the tsunami occurred.
Critics have compared the film to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.