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The Year of the Everlasting Storm

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United States · 2021
2h 0m
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jafar Panahi, Laura Poitras, David Lowery, Dominga Sotomayor, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal
Genre Drama, Mystery

The omnibus film features seven filmmakers from five countries sharing their perspectives on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Combining fiction and non-fiction segments, the film takes a variety of approaches to attempt to make sense of this global, ongoing, world-changing experience.

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The New York Times by Ben Kenigsberg

The omnibus film The Year of the Everlasting Storm assembles pandemic-made shorts from around the globe. But with just two decent segments out of seven, this anthology uncannily replicates the sensation of feeling trapped.


The Playlist by Charles Bramesco

The thread connecting the finest shorts — Panahi, Poitras, and Joe — is adaptation, the willingness to alter form to match the challenge at hand. Those able to refit their already-developed technique to a new set of standards don’t just get the best results. In their undaunted, humble determination to continue, they embody the present zeitgeist with more fidelity than a thousand post-mortems.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Its bow in Cannes in the Special Screenings sidebar is amply justified by two whimsical exercises in art house cinema directed by Jafar Panahi and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The other tales are quirky but mixed in impact.


Slant Magazine by Jake Cole

These shorts capture everything from how fear of the unknown can rewire relationships to the natural world exerts its pull on us all.


The Film Stage by Luke Hicks

If The Year of the Everlasting Storm isn’t exempt from the typical disjointedness of portmanteau films, it yields more coherency than its kin. With so many disparate works included, the experience becomes an intriguing exercise in cinematographic range and creative perspectives on the most globally unifying trauma in human history.


Boston Globe by Mark Feeney

Poitras includes screenshots, Zoom sessions, surveillance footage, even voice mails. The overall effect is both hypnotic and deeply unsettling, like watching a real-life William Gibson novel.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

There are no outright disasters and two superlative shorts, one of which may well turn out to be this year’s single greatest cinematic achievement. Even if the rest are mostly forgettable, that batting average still qualifies as success in this notoriously erratic mini-genre.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Here we have seven escape routes, each one reconnecting us to a world inevitably transformed by the pandemic — a world where art lives on.


TheWrap by Steve Pond

Everlasting Storm is an anthology film that is as uneven as most anthology films, but one that offers a disquieting and essential snapshot of the time from which we hope we’re emerging. Like the lockdown itself, it can be a slog and it can be a kick.


Screen Daily by Tim Grierson

Consisting of three non-fiction segments and four narrative instalments, the film is refreshing in its understated modesty. If anything, the shorter running time seems to energise the directors, who tell miniature stories with a minimum of fuss but careful attention to the emotional fallout of life under quarantine.

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