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News from Planet Mars (Des Nouvelles de la Planète Mars)

We all go a little animal crazy sometimes, particularly if you are a vegetarian activist

Most psychotic people probably think that sanity is relative – and they must be right. The life of Philippe Mars (François Damiens) is tranquil and uneventful. He is a divorced and hard-working father of two always meaning good, avoiding confrontation, trying to understand and support others. Until he realises that, in all of his kindness and tolerance, he is far more insane than those he is trying to help.

News from Planet Mars is a very compelling comedy about the boundaries of goodwill, and the latent lunacy within each one of us, and how to balance kindness with idealism.

One Day his former colleague Jerôme (Vincent Macaigne) asks for shelter at his small flat after escaping a mental institution. Ironically, Jerôme had been sectioned due to a violent outburst at work when he accidentally chopped Philippe’s ear. Philippe’s daughter questions the danger and absurdity of her father’s deed: harbouring the man that he nearly killed.

Soon after, former mental patient and ardent vegetarian and animal-rights activist Chloé joins them in the household. She was invited by Jerôme, whom she met while in they were living in a mental institution. Philippe is unable to evict either one of them, and instead begins to go a little crazy himself.

Chloé pairs up with Philippe’s vegetarian son Grégoire and they decide to make a difference in the world by blowing up a newly-constructed chicken factory nearby, thereby saving the lives of thousands of chicks. They have the enthusiastic support from Jerôme and from a delirious elderly neighbour. Philippe and his daughter, the only “sane ones” come to their rescue upon finding out about their plans. On their journey, they discover that no one is entirely lucid or deranged.

German-born French filmmaker Dominik Moll concocted a fun and captivating fable of modern life. Audiences will laugh, cry and embrace their inner nutter while watching the film. They might even turn vegetarian!

News from Planet Mars premiered on February 17th as part of the 66th Berlin Film festival. It was part of the official competition, the winner will be announced on Saturday. DMovies was live at the event and believed that the film stands little chances for the main prize. Our dirty favourites were Chinese Crosscurrent (Yang Chao) and the Bosnian Death in Sarajevo (Danis Tanović).

The film is also showing at the closing gala of the Raindance Film Festival in London – click here for more information.

And watch the film trailer below:

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By Petra von Kant - 17-02-2016

Petra von Kant is a filmmaker, critic and performance artist. She was born Manoel Almeida to Brazilian parents in 1971 in Bremen, Germany. Her parents were political refugees fleeing the military dict...

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