The Taking 2021
The majestic vista of Monument Valley has long proved a fertile playground for countless filmmakers looking to capture a sense of grandeur in their work. But perhaps no one name is more synonymous with these sandstone buttes on the Arizona-Utah border than John Ford. Utilising the filmmaker’s celebrated westerns as a central theme, Philippe’s fascinating documentary explores the ways in which cinema has transformed the location into an almost mythical landscape, imposing meaning on it and informing cultural perceptions in the process, whilst at the same time erasing Native American histories. As with all of Philippe’s work (which includes LFF hits 78/52 and Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist), The Taking is a cinephile’s dream, erudite yet accessible, and overflowing with passion and insight.