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What is Urville? The most modern city in the world? Some have seen it, others consider it a reflection in the Mediterranean. People say everyone is equal in Urville. Neither prisons nor ethnic rivalries exist there, the divorce rate is below 1%, and solidarity is a subject taught in schools. Does Urville really exist? Three French villages carry its name and each inhabitant is certain that their Urville is the most beautiful place in the world. Champagne flows from the faucet and heals disease; elections are held in the mayor's closet; and the opposition candidate is a self-made Real Estate-Indian who carries a life-size cardboard figure of Bill Clinton around in the woods. No one is afraid of death in Urville, even though it faces one of France's largest nuclear power plants. Everything is possible in Urville. Fascinated by the various people she encountered as she visited the various Urvilles, filmmaker Angela Christlieb has created a beguiling, unusual film that takes viewers on a GPS-guided trip through a previously unknown country: France! Equal parts bemused reportage and whimsical fantasy, URVILLE constitutes a poetic dream-voyage along the boundaries of fiction and documentary. -- (C) Anthology … More
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Critic Reviews for Urville
A strange, mildly provocative and imaginative "documentary" that eventually loses a little steam toward the end.
Much of this material is interesting, but Ms. Christlieb's superstructure may leave you too confused to appreciate it.
Christlieb has a similarly good eye for human idiosyncrasy; hopefully, she'll give it a stronger showcase next time.
Light sometimes to the point of fluffy, equally weighing platitude and wisdom, and over-reliant on awkward compositions that emphasize its subjects' quaint curiousness, Urville still makes a more interesting island vacation than Aldous Huxley's.
A seemingly random tour of three French villages comes with a few sneaky grace notes on mortality and daily endurance.
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