Ok, I know when I’m beat.
Crumbs is an Ethiopian-Spanish-Finnish film set in an post-apocalyptic world where pop culture references seem to have been the only knowledge that survived from the our times. A Michael Jordan picture turns into a religious effigy. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Action Figure is considered a good luck charm. A light-up plastic sword is a holy weapon. It is a world in which celebrity names of the past are uttered in prayer as there were saints and a Michael Jackson LP is valuable currency.
Daniel Tadesse plays the role of the unlikely hero. In the translation I watch, he’s known as Candy while newcomer Selam Tesfaye plays Birdy. In other translations, it’s actually backwards. Either way, our hero has an illusion (or delusion) that he’s to return to his native planet because he’s an extraterrestrial. After consulting a witch, he takes on a hero’s journey to meet Santa Claus. As it happens, Santa Claus is yet another character with his own agenda. You also meet the loan shark that narrates and explains the origin of various trinkets that appear throughout the film. Other random characters include a guy in a Nazi uniform and gas mask, a conductor of a train that only travels a few meters before breaking down and a warrior that protects plastic figures. Hovering on top of the landscape is an ancient spacecraft. Its role seems to be to represent the end of a quest never to be reached.
I would only recommend it if I could think of an audience for this movie. If there is one, they’re having a party and I was not invited. Director and screenwriter Miguel Llanso gives us a movie that feels like a slow psychedelic trip without the music and the lights. If you want a vehicle to deliver a message with your film, make it an entertaining ride. Unlike the spaceship, the movie never really takes off. Feels a bit like that train in the movie that only traveled a few meters and then stopped, never to move again.
That will do for now.
(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)