Tourneés 2009 French Film Festival Featured Films
La Faute à Fidel (Blame it on Fidel)
Monday, 19 January 2009, 7:00pm & 9:15 pm
Directed by Julie Garvas, 1999
Anna is a nine-year old precocious girl. Her life is rather simple and comfortable, regulated by habits and order. Her family is wealthy, she goes to a private religious school and often visits her grandparents who have a wine estate in Bordeaux. One day, her father’s sister is forced to leave Spain – her husband has just been killed by Franco’s police force. This event is experienced as an electroshock by Anna’s parents and they change their political views radically. Both become left-wing revolutionaries and Anna’s stable life goes awry. Women’s rights, freedom of speech, democracy and demonstration are now at the forefront of Anna’s parents lives. At first, Anna is not interested in any of it. She strives to hold on to the comfort she is used to and she is very unhappy when the family moves to a smaller apartment. She also has to adapt to her parents’ new lifestyle as they have less time to take care of her. Yet, she also tries to make sense of the larger political events that shake her life and she does not settle for the simplistic answers that adults give children. Opening reception sponsored by Alliance Française, 8:30 pm.
Elle s’appelle Sabine (Her Name is Sabine)
Tuesday, 20 Jan. 2009, 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm
Directed by Sandrine Bonnaire, 2008
An intelligent, moving and beautiful portrait of Sabine, a 38-year-old autistic woman, filmed by her closest sister, French actress Sandrine Bonnaire. The film tells her story through personal footage filmed by the actress over a period of 25 years, and her life today. A terrible gap exists between her as a teenager, an endearing and artistic young woman, and her today. What happened? After the departure of her brother and sisters, Sabine felt isolated and she became extremely panicky and violent. Her mother, who was taking care of her, was not able to cope with Sabine’s outbursts and sent her to a psychiatric hospital. A tragic five-year stay there crushed her intellectual growth and many talents. Today, because of her sister’s fame, Sabine has the privilege of living in better conditions, even if her mental capacities remain altered. She lives in a home in the Charente region with other young people who have similar mental and emotional illnesses. This very intimate film exposes an inadequate care structure, the penury of specialized institutions and the dramatic consequences they can lead to. It sends an urgent message to a society that still does not know how to properly take care of its citizens with physical and psychological disabilities.
La Question humaine (Heart Beat Detector)
Monday January 26 7:00 pm & 9:40 pm
Directed by Nicolas Klotz, 2007
Simon is a psychologist in charge of human resources within a German multinational, SC Farb. He deals with hiring new employees but also with lay-offs, a task he conducts with rationality and efficiency. When managing director Karl Rose asks him to look into, and draw up the psychological portrait of, the company’s general manager, Mathias Jüst, Simon gradually uncovers the dark history of the company. His investigation will lead to the discovery of SC Farb’s shady conduct during World War II and the involvement of its key figures in the Holocaust. Simon, a rational individual with feet firmly planted on the ground, will soon be overwhelmed by what he learns. The past that he digs up, along with the discovery that he is being manipulated, will have a deep impact on him, physically and emotionally. He starts making connections between his role in the company – laying off employees who are no longer useful to the company, and the Holocaust, and he asks himself many questions: is he today’s equivalent of a fascist? Who are the people he is ‘discarding’ in the name of business efficiency and profit? With Heartbeat Detector, Nicolas Klotz brings to the fore chilling questions about today’s society and the structures of modern big business. (A Thriller)
2 Days in Paris
Monday February 2. 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm
Directed by Julie Delpy, 2007
Jack is a sharp, neurotic New York interior designer; his girlfriend Marion is a smart, sometimes cagey, French photographer. They’ve been together in New York for two years and are about to spend two days in Paris. The trip puts their relationship to the ultimate test. Marion and Jack uncover more cracks in their compatibility as they travel around town. He is shocked by her erratic temper, evidenced by outbursts at a racist Parisian taxi driver, at ex-boyfriends, or anyone else who rubs her the wrong way. As he meets one overly-friendly male acquaintance after another, Jack is consumed by jealousy and wonders what Marion has kept from him about her romantic past. The snowballing mystery in Jack’s mind threatens to end their relationship in utter disaster. As a writer-director-producer-editor-composer-star, Delpy deftly handles her multiple responsibilities, weaving brilliant humor with a myriad of intellectual, political and psychological musings. Whether considering Jack and Marion’s relationship, or the world at large, she takes the stereotypical French versus American debates further and deeper, playing on both truth and the often total absurdity of this complex relationship.
Ne Touchez pas la hâche (Duchess of Langeais)
Tuesday, February 3, 7:00pm & 9:30pm
Directed by Jacques Rivette, 2007
The story takes place during the Restoration, a period when the dominant values are hypocrisy, social niceties and appearances. Antoinette de Navarreins, a Parisian coquette and wife of Duke de Langeais, is a product of her society. At a ball, she meets General Armand de Montriveau who seems to be her exact opposite. He has just returned from Africa and has little interest in Parisian society. On their first encounter, the Duchess and the General fall hopelessly in love with each other. For months, they meet every evening from eight to ten, as social etiquette requires. But Montriveau, a free spirit, wants to love the Duchess in broad daylight. Afraid of her feelings and bound to the rules of society, she rejects him. Convinced that the duchess is playing games, Montriveau decides to ignore his beloved. Desperate, she tries to reach out to him, endangering her reputation and status. When her last attempt fails, she disappears. Five years later, Montriveau arrives on a Spanish island. He has been searching for Antoinette in all the convents of Europe and America. In the monastery on the island he finally finds her. But it is too late for a material/physical love, and their story will remain as Montriveau murmurs “a book read during childhood, a poem”.
Free and Open to the Public
Hippodrome State Theatre
25 SE 2nd Place
For more information, contact:
Dr. Sylvie Blum
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures / France-Florida Research Institute
Phone: 352-392-2016 x248
392-2016 ext. 256
The Festival is sponsored by FACE: French American Cultural Exchange Arts Education Innovation, FFRI: France-Florida Research Institute (University of Florida), French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Florence Gould Foundation, The Grand Marnier Foundation, highbrow entertainment, Agnès b, Fonds Culturel franco-américain, Alliance Française-Gainesville, Florida.