MOKA

Diane (Emmanuelle Devos) is hurting. Her young son, Luc, was killed in a hit-and-run. And with no one to take responsibility, no one to blame, grief has driven her deep inside herself. Diane pulls back from the world, from her husband, and from the future. Her world narrows to one simple task: make them pay.

Finding the couple responsible isn’t that difficult for Diane — there are eyes everywhere — but convincing herself that vengeance can be righteous is. As the old saying goes, “Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth only leaves the world blind and toothless.” Diane doesn’t exactly want that, but she also doesn’t want the death of her son to be something that disappears like tears in the rain.

Moka, much like Diane’s quest for catharsis, is a slow-burner that never catches fire. Shot on the French-Swiss border and co-starring Nathalie Baye and David Clavel, director Frédéric Mermoud sets his sights on Hitchcockian material and ends up with pictures of pained people looking off wistfully into the horizon. If only that one mistake, that one tragic mistake, hadn’t happened we’d all be shiny, happy people. If only.

Moka is currently in limited release.