There’s some difficulty in parsing out the story of Agnès Patron’s And then the Bear. Images of houses on fire in the distance set the tone, as a young boy finds his life thrown into chaos when his mother lets a strange man stay at their house. Patron’s short fills itself with symbolism and doesn’t establish a clear divide between reality and imagination, making her film work better as a mood piece than a more conventional narrative. Using red, black, and white as the dominant colours of her work, And then the Bear looks ravishing: the strange man’s figure ballooning and deflating like a cloud, the bears and forest represented by white, dashed lines and an overhead shot of the mother’s red hair standing out among a field of grass are just some of the unforgettable images throughout.
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