Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 01 March 2012 14:02

Honesty and insight rule 'Declaration of War'

Honesty and insight rule 'Declaration of War' ifcfilms.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

French films specialize in effectively and efficiently dramatizing personal relationships. Declaration of War continues this careful examination of the intensely interpersonal as a young, unmarried couple must deal with doctors' diagnosis of their 18 month old son's brain tumor. Valérie Donzelli and Jérémie Elkaïm co-wrote and star in this highly autobiographical story that she directed.

In only her second feature film, director Donzelli avoids sentimentality, presenting this traumatic situation with honest directness. Shifting to an extended flashback after a brief introduction, events begin with the aptly named Romeo and Juliette falling in love at a nightclub, establishing a close bond, and welcoming their baby Adam. Almost immediately they suspect something's amiss with him and embark on meetings with doctors, have multiple diagnostic tests, confirm the brain tumor and make decisions about treatment.

Periodic voiceover narration by three different voices helps to define this ordeal as a scientific procedural, keeping it even handed reporting instead of melodramatic indulgence. The events need no appeal to establish them as deeply moving.

Radio news announces the beginning of our Iraq war, but the war waged here takes aim at the complex and multifaceted challenges of the medical situation. Romeo and Juliette's lives change as do those of family and friends become who share the ups and downs. Exhaustion sets in with the repetition of hospital visits and procedures. The couple escapes to the seashore, a carnival, a party—all crucial breaks to maintain their own mental and physical health. Amazingly, humor relieves the overarching seriousness in several instances.

Technically Donzelli impressionistically translates the emotional states to visual images. The eclectic music expresses the kaleidoscope of moods. Declaration of War is a painfully honest and uplifting story that helps any empathetic individual understand the roller coaster of just about anyone greeted with unwelcome, sad news. Few will confront a situation as upsetting as this one, though some have lived through it and become stronger, better people. I feel that way having seen Declaration of War. In French with English subtitles. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
12

Lizzie Weber at Harvest Sessions 2014

Lizzie Weber at Harvest Sessions 2014 Folk-pop singer-songwriter Lizzie Weber is this week's featured artist for Harvest Sessions. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through October 2014....


July
Wednesday
16

Man or Astroman, Sallie Ford

KDHX welcomes Man or Astroman to the Firebird on Wednesday, July 16 at 8pm.   For more information, firebirdstl.com.


July
Friday
18

Billy Joe Shaver

KDHX welcomes Billy Joe Shaver to the Old Rock House Friday, July 18 at 8pm.   For more information, visit oldrockhouse.com.    


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

4 users and 16773 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook