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7th Annual Morris Festival of French and Francophone Films

Posted by Jenna Ray on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

This year’s film festival includes four new, award-winning features. Subtitled in English, the films will be screened at 7 p.m. on Mondays in February. The campus and the public are invited to these free screenings in the Student Center Edson Auditorium.

“Entre Nous (Morris’s French Club) and its other sponsors are very excited to bring the festival to the Morris community once again,” says Tammy Berberi, associate professor of French and director of the Honors Program. “In addition to being great films, this kind of international programming expands and complicates our perspectives on history as well as contemporary issues.”

February 3
Couleur de peau: Miel / Approved for Adoption
Directed by Laurent Boileau & Jung, 2012, 74 minutes, not rated

An enchanting hybrid of animation and live-action, this adaptation of co-director Jung’s autobiographical graphic novel recounts his childhood and adolescence after a Belgian couple adopts him from a South Korean orphanage in the early 1970s. Though raised by loving parents and supported by his four older siblings, he often feels like an outsider, and endures many painful episodes, some self-inflicted, in his struggle to understand his identity. Approved for Adoption poignantly traces one man’s interrogation of the definitions of ethnicity, culture, and the concept of “home.”

February 10
Monsieur Lazhar / Mr. Lazhar
Directed by Philippe Falardeau, 2012, 94 minutes, rated PG-13

Writer-director Philippe Falardeau’s unforgettable movie, based on a one-person play by Evelyne de la Chenelière, explores the intricate process by which M. Lazhar earns the respect and trust of his pupils. Some, the children of immigrants or, like this devoted instructor, recent arrivals to Quebec. As the reasons for M. Lazhar’s immigration to Canada from Algeria are made clear, so, too is his rather unconventional method for applying for the teaching position. Monsieur Lazhar is that rarest of movies about education, one that avoids clichés and sentimentality, favoring instead honesty and clear-eyed compassion.

February 17
De rouille et d’os / Rust and Bone
Directed by Jacques Audiard, 2012, 120 minutes, not rated

This invigorating melodrama from Jacques Audiard centers on the explosive chemistry of two damaged souls: the beefy, penniless Ali, who has traveled south to Antibes with his five year old son to settle with Ali’s sister in the hopes of starting a new life, and Stéphanie, a whale trainer who becomes a double amputee after a freak accident at the marine mammal park where she works. We witness the evolution of their tumultuous relationship that, despite (or because of) their many differences and the obstacles they face, results in nothing less than a great love story.

February 24
Les Adieux à la reine / Farewell, My Queen
Directed by Benoît Jacquot, 2013, 101 minutes, rated R

Benoît Jacquot’s nimble, lush adaptation of Chantal Thomas’s 2003 novel portrays Versailles on the eve of the 1789 revolution as told through the eyes of Sidonie, the besotted reader to Marie Antoinette. Compressed to four tumultuous days, the film follows Sidonie as she tries to make sense of the rumors spreading in the royal palace. Rendered blind to the queen’s caprice by love, Sidonie both thrills under her affections and seethes with jealousy for the queen’s prized pet, Gabrielle de Polignac, giving rise to the discreet yet heated passion that unfolds in Farewell, My Queen.

This year’s festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of Entre Nous, the Division of the Humanities, the French Discipline, an International Programs Committee Extra-Curricular Programming Grant, and the Hasselmo Language Teaching Center.

Contact Tammy Berberi for more information.