Battledream Chronicle

Contemporary World Cinema | 2015 | 108 minutes

Stranger Says:

I did everything I could to enjoy this film, the first animated feature from Martinique, a French-speaking Caribbean island. I’m an Afrofuturist, I love seeing black people doing futurist things. But Battledream Chronicle, which is directed by Alain Bidard and certainly has lots of my kind of thing (black people defying gravity, black people cracking codes in cyberspace, black people with mirrorshades), looks too much like a videogame and the battle scenes go on for way too long. Bidard is a talented animator but he needed this work to be written and directed by someone who can tell a story. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

SIFF Says:

In 2100, the Empire of Mortemonde has colonized nearly every nation on earth and forces their populations into slavery. These slaves are forced to earn 1000XP coins each month by competing in Battledream, a video game in which the winners must return to fight every month for all eternity, and the losers will die in real life. Battledream Chronicle tells the story of Syanna Meridian, a young female slave from Martinique, who stumbles upon a hidden vault in the game that contains a secret weapon. Ignoring her mother’s warnings, she and her best friend Alytha Mercuri, together known as The Mermaids of Fire, decide to fight the Empire to regain their freedom. To complete their quest, they will have to join the only remaining team of free citizens before the Mortemonde inquisitors realize what they’re planning. Martiniquais Alain Bidard proves himself the rare quintuple-threat here by writing, directing, animating, editing, and scoring Battledream Chronicle, his debut feature. Working over the course of five years, he has woven together online gaming, Caribbean folklore, and Martinique’s complicated, colonial history to create a new kind of hero’s tale, one brimming with creativity, patriotism, and most importantly, hope.

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Film Credits
Alain Bidard
Yna Boulange, Jacques Olivier Ensfelder, Steffy Glissant
SIFF 2016