What do you do when old ways fail? Set in a small Belgian farming community, The Fifth Season hinges on townsfolk preparing for the annual spring festival. After song and dance, the evening draws to a close with the burning of Christmas trees and the ritualistic banishment of Old Man Winter for his crimes. But something goes wrong, the Solstice bonfire won’t alight and Spring doesn’t arrive. Cows stop producing milk, chickens can’t lay eggs, and slowly, the community starts to fall apart.
With a tip of the hat to Robin Hardy’s original version of The Wicker Man, The Fifth Season evolves from a charming rural idyll to a claustrophobic, post-apocalyptic dystopia. As the season of not-winter and not-spring drags on, it becomes only a matter of time before something even more desperate happens.
Director Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth
Best Film of Venezia 69 - Venice Film Festival 2012