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Moira Jean Sullivan

Moira Sullivan is a member of FIPRESCI , Swedish Film Critics Association, GALECA The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics,and Alliance for Women Film Journalists. She writes for these venues:



Cannes Special Screening "The Year Of The Everlasting Storm"

Anthony Chen's The Breakaway ©Festival de Cannes

Cannes Special Screening:


Jafar PANAHI , Anthony CHEN , Malik VITTHAL , Laura POITRAS , Dominga SOTOMAYOR , David LOWERY , Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL

Seven filmmakers made films for an anthology during the pandemic. They were presented at a special screening at Cannes. Producer NEON explained that the films are inspired by the work of Iranian director Jafar PANAHI who has made films under house arrest including a film smuggled out of the country to Cannes in 2011 as a surprise screening :This is Not a Film.

Jafar PANAHI (Camera d'Or The White Balloon, 1995, Leon d'Oro 2000 The Circle, Jury Prize Un Certain Regard, Golden Bear Taxi 2015, Cannes Best screenplay 2018 3 Faces) chose to show his indoor environment in his apartment in Iran in Life. His most interesting housemate is Iggy, an elderly iguana with clever places to hide out. Panahi's mother arrives who has followed all the safety measures of social distancing and masking. She complains how difficult it is to speak to her granddaughter on zoom. PANAHI's film is a day in the life of lockdown in Iran.

Anthony CHEN’s Ilo Ilo won the Camera d’Or at Cannes 2013. His short film in this anthology Wet Season in set inTongzhou, China. A family living in cramped quarters in an apartment are in lockdown. The space is much smaller than in Jafar Panahi’s Life. The tension mounts between the married couple who are reduced to working remotely. The husband who is a used car salesman is having no success with his work while his wife works as a telemarketer making cold calls to clients. Their son is unaware of why he cannot go out and resorts to playing with his toys. The film gives a bleak picture of how confinement effects this family of limited financial means during Covid.

Malik VITTHAL's short Little Measures features a father who must meet his children on zoom not only because of limitations on visiting rights but lockdown, but Vitthal captures quality and colorful meetings with the separated family impacted by the joy of youth. 

Domingo SOTOMAYOR 's slowly building short Sin Titulo,2020 features a woman recording her singing while she walks around the confines of her home, run down from lack of upkeep. She is not able to visit with her daughter who has just given birth and holds the baby up for her to see from her apartment building. The singing actually is a part of a zoom production of an excellelent choir which in the end is shown with a multitude of voices.

Of considerable interest was Laura POITRAS' film Terror Contagion on forensic architecture. Poitras directed Citizen Four (2014) on Edward Snowden, best documentary feature at the 87th Academy Awards and her 2014 film Risk on Julian Assange's Wikileaks was in "Quinzaine des Réalisateurs". Her short concerns surveillance developed by the Israeli cyberweapons company NSO Group Technologies. Their spyware Pegasus is used in the remote surveillance of smartphones. The ramifications are astonishing for although its intended use is to combat crime, it has been purchased by US Police departments to monitor activist groups such as Black Lives Matter.

David LOWERY (2013 Critics’ Week  Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) contributed Dig Up My Darling. A middle-age woman who lives in her truck goes through her storage and discovers a bundle of letters written by her father in in the 1920's, tied together by string. They convey hard times , possibly the Spanish flu, where her uncle dies from fever. Not able to bury him properly, the letters are written to his daughter to find him, dig up his remains with the exact place of his body provided, and give him a burial near home.  

Apichatpong WEERASEETHAKUL'S (2010 Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) impressive contribution to the anthology was Night Colonies on the nightlife of insects attracted to neon lights on a white mattress abandoned by its owners. They drop in, wiz by,  land, and mass in a very industrious community of night creatures making use of the vacant space. 

Apichatpong WEERASEETHAKUL won the Jury Prize for Memoria made with Tilda Swinton.



About Moira Jean Sullivan