Cannes Film Fest 2023: “Black Flies,” Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire–One of Worst Films in Competition

Black Flies (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire)

two police officers
(Cannes Film Festival)

Black Flies offers a grim portrait of a young New York City paramedic (Tye Sheridan) as he spends long days and nights riding shotgun with a cynical partner (Sean Penn, in surprisingly mediocre form).

Along the way there are blood-gushing wounds, mostly ungrateful patients, racist stereotypes (used with no reason), and ludicrous sex scenes, just to make the take more seductive and commercial?

A message film, it provides all too obvious lessons about what a thankless job it is trying to save others when you can’t even save yourself.

Sauvaire’s filmmaking chops were better applied in previous films, such as Johnny Mad Dog and A Prayer Before Dawn.

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