Film Reviews

TIFF Review: ‘Fausto’

The images are lovely, but what do they amount to?

Courtesy of TIFF


Fausto
(Canada/Mexico, 70 min.)
Dir. Andrea Bussmann

Andrea Bussmann’s solo debut feature after 2016’s Tales of Two Who Dreamt, made in collaboration with partner Nicolas Pereda, is a bit slippery. Ostensibly, it’s a freeform adaptation of the Faust myth, but I can’t say I caught many of those resonances beyond occasional references to the devil. Much of the film is comprised of voiceover narrators, or occasionally on-screen characters, telling enigmatic fables about ghosts or other shadowy figures often over hazy images of the Oaxaca coast.

Very little, indeed almost nothing, happens onscreen. Though the images are often lovely they don’t quite amount to the kind of visual storytelling or poetic counterpoint that one might expect. As often as not, I couldn’t understand why particular images accompanied particular stories—or, indeed, what the whole thing was getting at. As a mood piece à la early magic realist literature, I suppose it’s successful, but I can’t say I got much out of it.

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