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Critical / “Alis” (2023) by Clare Weiskopf and Nicolás Van Hemelryck


Alis by Clare Weiskopf and Nicolás Van Hemelryck is in theaters since January 18, 2023. Reviews and ratings.


In a shelter for teenage girls in Bogota, Colombia, an imaginary character named Alis is born from the projections, aspirations and fears of each.

Alisan avatar in an interindividual confinement

Inspired and built following audiovisual workshops in a center for Colombian teenage girls in Bogota, Alis of Clare Weiskopf and Nicolas Van Hemelryck is not just a cinema film addressed to a future audience, it is first of all a collective construction to accompany a word like a flower that dares to blossom by cracking a tarred earth for any horizon of human blossoming. With subtlety and modesty, Clare Weiskopf and Nicolas Van Hemelryck invent very simple processes in appearance but of great perspicacity to let express this small interior voice of each adolescent by inventing the fictitious character of Alis built like an external part finally assumed of itself. Alis is then more than a simple avatar in a self-to-self interindividual confinement that social networks are so obsessed with. Alis Here is a collective construction that noticeably creates sisterhood where we no longer expected it, like a marvelous liberating and emancipatory epiphany.

ALIS photo film
© Wayna Pitch

With rigor and a fascinating narrative sobriety, Clare Weiskopf and Nicolas Van Hemelryck build their documentary narration by taking on the traditional interview facing the camera without trying to make it disappear from consciousness through distinct staging devices. Here, the framing just like the light are resolutely the same and never tire thanks to the strength of the editing as a principle of narration and especially by the power of the testimonies of the protagonists who deliver their violence suffered in the social space outside the refuge. The camera never locks them into the role of victims because they build up in front of the camera a being of a fascinating force of resilience that the film accompanies constantly with benevolence.

The device is inspired in particular by its false narrative simplicity and its real complexity to develop close links with the protagonists at the center of the development of the story, of The Freedom of the Diablo (2017) ofEverardo Gonzalez where testimonies systematically filmed in a static shot explored another side of the violence of society through the voice of its executioners. The invention of cinema in its freest form, which is the documentary, testifies here again to the conviction that cinema is invented with the very subjects it encounters.

This article is brought to you by columnist Cédric Lépine.

Learn more:

  • Release date France: 01/25/2023
  • Distribution France: Wayna Pitch

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