Now Streaming: High & Low – John Galliano Considers the Art of the Comeback

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He’s been high and he’s been low. He’s been in and he’s been out. But iconic designer John Galliano strives to never go out of fashion.

High & Low: John Galliano, now streaming on MUBI, tells of the notorious fashion designer’s rise and fall. This documentary by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September, The Last King of Scotland) looks back on the life, work, and downfall of the man who revolutionized fashion.

The documentary offers a no-holds-barred consideration of who enjoys redemption in the age of cancel culture, as Galliano fell from his esteemed place as an innovative designer after a series of viral videos revealed a bizarre pattern of behaviour in which he accosted Parisians with anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Despite his warranted fall from grace, the film asks if John Galliano deserves another chance. If he does, what are the terms that allow a reasonable comeback? The film might not offer easy answers, but it’s certainly provocative with its assessment of second chances, particularly when only a handful of men get to try again. It’s a film that POV editor Marc Glassman says “looks like an apology but is too smart to be one.” High & Low should provide film buffs with a provocative and topical talking point about second chances.

“The film was not intended to be a redemption for him,” Macdonald told POV. “It was intended to be a film that was left things open rather than close. That might be something that you can never forgive, but other people can say, ‘I know people who are alcoholics and who said and did horrendous things and they’re drunk, so I can forgive him.’”

But that’s what the film invites: an uneasy conversation: “I want people to come out with an idea of complexity of the human mind and of the complexity of these issues that are raised in the film,” says Macdonald.

High & Low: John Galliano is now streaming on MUBI.

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