Atlantide. 2021. Italy/France/Qatar. Directed by Yuri Ancarani. In Italian; English subtitles. 104 min.
Italian filmmaker and video artist Yuri Ancarani returns to MoMA with the premiere run of his latest feature. Following a real-life group of Venetian youths over several years, Atlantide spins a tale of a sinking city—as implied by the title—into a stylish teen film. Daniele and his friends, pleasure-seeking and rough-and-tumble, live on the water and chase the adrenaline of racing tricked-out motorboats. But behind this excess lies the too-somber reality of a generation disconnected from its own future. Venice—an oft-photographed city seen here as never before—embodies this aimless drift and offers a hypnotic, nihilistic trip through watery dreamscapes and nightmares. If the film is a metaphor for the troubled state of masculinity or socio-environmental collapse, it also unravels as a collision course that drags its subjects and their “ghost city along on a psychedelic shipwreck” (Ancarani).