Rumba | Denver Film Society | Dominique Abel | Fiona Gordon | Bruno Romy | Belgium

Rumba

Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy

FrenchEnglish SubtitlesBelgium200877 min

Showtimes

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Overview

Aptly if oddly described by Variety as “an episode of Sesame Street scripted by Luis Buñuel and helmed by Jacques Tati,” this surreal black comedy somehow mines tragic losses for comic gold. Dom (Dominique Abel) and Fiona (Fiona Gordon) hold day jobs as schoolteachers—but their passion is for rumba and the dance contests they compete in by night. On the drive home from one ballroom triumph, they narrowly miss striking a would-be suicide standing in the road (Philippe Martz)—crashing the car instead. Writer-directors Abel, Gordon and Bruno Romy squeeze an astounding number of laughs out of the relentlessly dire misfortunes the couple endures as they recover from the near-fatal wreck and adjust their lives accordingly. While making an omelet, the now-amnesiac Dom keeps adding eggs, forgetting he has already cracked a bowlful. Fiona, who has had her leg amputated, can’t master the use of her crutches and must hop around her classroom one-legged. Later, she unintentionally burns their house down when her wooden prosthesis catches fire. Containing only the sparest dialogue and music, these narrative interludes rely almost exclusively on outrageous sight gags, thus evoking the exuberant slapstick silliness of the silent era. Meanwhile, the dreamlike quality of the dance sequences increasingly suggests we’re vicariously experiencing Dom and Fiona’s own yearning for what once was and could have been. Yet with their highly polished dancing skills and clever deployment of DIY effects, Abel and Gordon themselves have managed to reach for the stars.



Directors and stars Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon in person

Sponsored by

Producer: Dominique Abel, Claire Dornoy, Fiona Gordon, Marin Karmitz | Editor: Sandrine Deegen | Cinematographer: Claire Childeric | Screenwriter: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy
Cast: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Philippe Martz, Bruno Romy

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