Proxima – Aline Winocour – Review

Summary : Sarah is a French astronaut preparing to leave Earth for a one-year mission to Proxima. While she adheres to the rigorous training imposed on astronauts, the only woman among the men, she is especially preparing for the separation from her 8-year-old daughter.

Serious : We have become addicted to cinema that takes us to the imaginary heights of Mars or the Moon. This time, the work of the very talented Alice Winocour focuses on the training that astronauts undergo before flying into space, from the point of view of a woman, Sarah Loreau, who is not only a brilliant physicist, but above all a divorcee. Is. Mother, divided between her professional life and her duty as a mother. Winokour’s cinema has often offered us militant cinema with female characters who are honest and courageous in the cultural or social world, particularly resistant to the question of women’s liberation. The director shows through the destiny of this extraordinary heroine the extent to which women have to sacrifice their motherhood, and above all, put in much more effort than their male colleagues, in order to benefit from professional opportunities. Apart from this they have to be defamed or diminished. Objects of desire.

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Proxima This is the name given to this training center, where people selected for interstellar travel enter a limited universe, which requires them to make absolutely terrifying intellectual and physical efforts. It is clear that the director has documented himself very well. We fascinatingly discover the monstrous machinery that prepares the astronauts for their incredible missions, the medical arsenal that surrounds them, and the physical and psychological pressures that wear them out. Ultimately, we are not that far removed from the high-level sports training to which contenders submit, to the point of corrupting themselves with what deeply motivates them, or abandoning their own humanity. Are. Unsaid, lies, rivalry, lack of empathy are at the heart of the relationships between professionals and their coaches in this universe. Letting go and pain have no place in this world where masculinity remains the central value.

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Sarah, played by the stunning Eva Green, represents the essence of a battle to reconcile her maternal commitment and her desire to participate in the history of the conquest of space. In its end credits, the film highlights a monumental image of female astronauts, showing that in a masculine and glorified universe they were both greatly outnumbered and ultimately a minority. We are a long way from science fiction cinema. Ultimately, space exploration remains a narrative opportunity to tell the story of women’s struggle to showcase their skills which is prevalent in all professional worlds. A lot of excesses are also seen in the relationship between mother and daughter. Indeed, we can see to what extent our modern Western societies assign women a dominant and exclusive role in children’s education, neglecting their careers. But these words never turn into demagoguery. Sara sometimes makes educational mistakes or professional mistakes, not in the name of her maternal role, but at the expense of the love that binds her to her daughter.

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The actors are sincerely engaged in this story. Certainly, the staging suffers from a certain academicism, the writing of the characters sometimes veering into dogmatism or cynicism. But it’s clear that it’s completely delightful to succumb to the beauty of the relationship between this woman and her daughter. The viewer is spared the comforting or destructive social cinema and can project himself into this love affair of apparent purity. We never lose sight of the internal and physical struggle that Sara leads with rare determination. Proxima It pays clear tribute to all those isolated women who have to juggle between the demands of their parental role and the material and economic demands of their situation. Despair never goes away and Sarah’s extraordinary example is perhaps an invitation to continue or begin the fight for all these isolated mothers, most of whom society condemns to poverty and contempt.

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