The Dune

Synopsis

Some choices we make have ripples that not only last a lifetime, but that carry over to the next generation. In Yossi Aviram’s contemplative feature debut, Hanoch (Lior Ashkenazi), who owns a bicycle shop in Israel, seems indifferent to everything except for his languorous chess matches and conversations with his friend Fogel (Moni Moshonov). When his wife tells him she’s pregnant, Hanoch replies that he’s not ready for fatherhood, so she kicks him out. With nowhere else to go, Hanoch wanders to his native France and ends up mysteriously washed up on a beach by the dunes of the Landes coast. Meanwhile, in Paris, Ruben (Niels Arestrup) a 60-ish, melancholy police detective, contemplates retirement after an unpleasant experience tracking down a reclusive author (Mathieu Amalric). Ruben, who is gay and had suffered abuse for coming out decades earlier, wants to settle down with his life partner, Paolo (Guy Marchand). But before he leaves, he’s assigned to the case of Hanoch, who’s been struck mute and hospitalized with no identification. As Ruben and Hanoch warily orbit one another, they slowly discover clues to an old mutual bond. With sparse dialogue, the story of these taciturn characters is conveyed mostly through subtle body language, facial expressions and exquisite light captured by Aviram, a noted cinematographer. The Dune is an exercise in dignified understatement and a satisfying mystery about familial ties and the healing of old wounds.

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