Fuck the Cancer!
Sometimes this film hurts. And does so physically - when the invisible, raging monster and the struggle against it show their traces on the body: an emaciated face, the changes to the skin caused by radiation, the vocal chords failing from the stress and strain.
Thomas Renoldner resisted the cancer that afflicted him in early 2014 for more than a year: by means of a personal challenge, which found its unveiled expression in a persistently repeated incantation: "Fuck the Cancer!" A statement that the filmmaker says into the camera on his cell phone like an extra therapeutic measure: in the hospital bed, at home, on walks, alone or, rarely, with his family. Banal moments in which Renoldner does none of the things that normally evoke empathy: no explanations, no information about himself or the history of his illness, no emotion-stirring performance. Only this one statement: "Fuck the Cancer" - over and over again.
Yet precisely this seemingly monotonous repetition and the minimalist setting open a space that has rid itself of suggestive cinematic means, in which empathy is able to develop. The minimalist approach challenges perception. Renoldner´s monosyllabic appearances shape a many-voiced series of unanswered questions: is the trace of a smile a sign that hope outweighs fear? Does the breaking off of the voice mean resignation or is it simply a consequence of the stress and strain of therapy?
With these questions, Renoldner opens a space that the viewer wants to explore. He exposes himself to let us feel the nakedness of our own mental state. Fuck the Cancer! presents the monster in a way utterly void of drama, which so rarely occurs in film - and in doing so, triggers the greatest possible reflection and emotion, without the protection of narrative. (Robert Buchschwenter)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
Fuck the Cancer!