Suddenly, on the outskirts of the cities of Deauville and Caen, in Normandy, in the north of France, young women appear, in different places, wrapped in blue plastic, murdered with refinements of great violence. the movie viewer Bowling Saturn, in the international competition of the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland), knows who the criminal is, even saw how he convinces the girls to go to his apartment. But the police rack their brains, without discovering traces or indications capable of leading to the feminicide, and only at the end of the film can they identify one of the victims.
Inspector Guillaume is in charge of the investigations, a meticulous but somewhat lonely policeman. There are no women around him. The series of murders is serious and everything leads to believe that it was committed by some maniac, always ready to start over if not discovered. Meanwhile, the viewer gets involved with Guillaume’s other activity, that of owning a bowling alley, inherited from his father. An activity that takes up time, even with employees to help him and that he thinks he can get rid of.
Therefore, it is with some relief that he sees his half-brother, the adulterous son of his father, reappear: a little younger, half lost in life and unemployed, with whom he never had greater contact. Armand, his name, agrees to run the bowling alley and is satisfied to finally have a job and something serious to do in life. He thinks about how to increase the income of the place, and he also gets an apartment, where his father used to live.
Bowling Saturn is a French film, by filmmaker Patricia Mazuy, which in 1994 had already won the third prize (the “Bronze Leopard”) in the Locarno Festival competition with me and travolta. The new production is a thriller, with a plot or story French-stylebut with scenes of violence typical of North American police films. Bowling Saturn was shown at the beginning of the Festival and remained one of the violent ones in the competition.
Patricia Mazuy’s goal is to show how male violence is still prominent in society. But the film explores another aspect, apparently unrelated to investigations into the serial killer. Guillaume and Armand’s father was a hunting aficionado and belonged to a group of safaris organizers in Africa, with the aim of killing large wild animals such as lions, tigers. He took trophies from these hunts and filmed the animals’ deaths. An encounter with projections of these films showed the joy of these hunters, now elderly, when they slaughtered the animals with no other objective than the pleasure of killing them.
Although Armand has been abandoned by his father, he ends up identifying with him by wearing his hunting outfit made from the skin of a large python snake. However, instead of hunting animals, he preferred to hunt defenseless young bowling alleys. After taking them to his apartment, the initial romanticism was replaced by a violent sexual relationship, followed by beating deaths, without any reason, by a violent impulse, like the wild animals hunted and slaughtered by his father.
*Rui Martins is a journalist, writer, ex-CBN and ex-Estadão, exiled during the dictatorship. He is the creator of the first international movement of emigrants, Brasileirinhos Stateless, which led to the recovery of the native Brazilian nationality of the children of emigrants with Constitutional Amendment 54/07. He wrote Dirty Money of Corruption, about Maluf’s Swiss accounts, and the first book about Roberto Carlos, The Romantic Rebellion of the Jovem Guarda, in 1966. He was a contributor to Pasquim. He lives in Switzerland, correspondent for Expresso de Lisboa, Correio do Brasil and RFI.
Editing: Felipe Mendes