Good Luck

France/Germany 2017. Dir: Ben Russell. 143 min. DCP

“I wouldn’t hesitate to call it Russell’s magnum opus to date.” JORDAN CRONK, SIGHT & SOUND

EXCLUSIVE FIRST RUN! Named the best experimental film of 2017 by the National Society of Film Critics, Ben Russell’s arresting new work, an ethnographic documentary of formal rigour and mode-defying psychedelia, is the American artist’s first solo feature in eight years. (2013’s bewitching A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness was co-directed with Ben Rivers.) Shot on Super 16mm and split into two mirrored parts — represented by an ideogram of a bisected circle — Good Luck concerns the labour and livelihood of two groups of miners working on opposite sides of the Atlantic: the first, in an underground, state-owned copper mine in Serbia; the second, in an illegal, open-air gold mine in Suriname. Contrasts are stark and abundant, sure. But the humanizing alikeness of the miners’ close-knit bonds, and their steadfast desire to provide a different, better future for their children, offers a moving thesis on the flesh-and-blood facet of global capital.

 

REVIEWS

“A vital achievement ... Though much of contemporary thinking would prefer to keep labour and art separated, Good Luck forces them together under an even more unlikely third term, the psychedelic.”

Cinema Scope | full review

"A low-key epic ... Enthralling."

Village Voice | full review