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The Suns of Easter Island  
Pierre Kast
1972 || 90 mins

Six unconnected people in different parts of the world experience strange hallucinations of global unrest, followed by glimpses of an ancient stone head, before waking up to discover that they now have a small translucent disc grafted into the palm of their hands. Compelled by forces they don’t fully understand, the six – Maurice, a Geomancer; Norma, an astronomer; Alexandra, a medium; Francoise, an ethnologist; Helvio, a scientist; and Irenio, a priest – along with Alexandra’s boyfriend Alain, a psychologist – travel to Santiago where they meet and prepare to set sail for Easter Island where the answer to the mystery awaits them...

see also articles on:
Top 10 Films by Lesser Known Directors || Pierre Kast Profile|| French New Wave History || French New Wave Film Guide
Adieu Philippine

If ever a film deserves to take its place among the pantheon of cult films then this forgotten science-fiction curiosity from Pierre Kast is it. Abounding with ancient mysteries, occult symbolism, supernatural phenomenon and a trippy electronic soundtrack, Le Soleils de l’Ile de Paques would make perfect viewing at a Friday midnight movie showing.

Released in 1972 when theories of ‘ancient astronauts’ were all the rage, it’s a film very much of its time, yet the weird atmosphere and quest-based narrative give it an enduring appeal. Like the Hollywood classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, the extraterrestrials in this case are some distance further along the evolutionary path than ourselves and clearly horrified by what they discover here on Earth.

One-time World War II resistance fighter Pierre Kast had likely seen a good deal of conflict in his life and he loads the hallucination scenes with evocative images of war and violence. Whether he personally believed in the possibility of alien intervention on Earth is impossible to say, since he died suddenly in 1978 and left little commentary on his own work, but these ideas still hold a fascination for many.

However, it’s the images rather than the ideas that leave the greatest impression: a giant wall of solar panels blazing in sunlight, hieroglyphs in the Chilean desert, the dramatic landscapes of Easter Island, and of course the pulsing hexagon figures that initiate each of the hallucinations. The cast, lead by the charismatic Maurice Garrel as Maurice, a character that could be have been created by Dennis Wheatley, are all engaged in the world of the story and appear to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. But it’s the Moai stones, stationed along the cliffs of Easter Island like sentinels, silent and ultimately unknowable, that are the real stars of the film.

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