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SEVEN FRENCH FEATURES TO WATCH AT VFF

French Features

SEVEN FRENCH FEATURES TO WATCH AT VFF

From award-winning comedies, to musical documentaries, to haunting dramas – the French-language lineup will keep you entertained while you stay home.

Say “Salut!” to these French features.

Beyond the Horizon

BEYOND THE HORIZON (LE MILIEU DE L’HORIZON)

In the scorching summer of 1976, farmers face a violent heatwave threatening their crops and the lives of their animals. Under the relentless sun, Nicole and Jean, owners of a poultry farm, are on the brink when their chickens succumb one after the other. Their 13-year-old son, Gus, has to help his father with the chores, even if he would much rather read comics and go on adventures. One day a breath of fresh air arrives in the form of Nicole’s new friend, lively and spirited Cécile. The newcomer will quickly turn the life of the family, already in the midst of a crisis, upside down. Witnessing the destruction of his nuclear family, traditional farming and patriarchy, Gus has to grow up fast, leaving the innocence of childhood behind.

Bolstered by performances from standout actresses Laetitia Casta (Gainsbourg: A Heroic LifeAsterix and Obelix vs. Caesar), Clémence Poésy (most recognizable from her turn as Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter series) and the outstanding newcomer Luc Bruchez, Beyond The Horizon is a poignant story perfectly tackling subjects ranging from the impact of climate change, the place of women in society, desires and the end of childhood.

Call Me Human

CALL ME HUMAN (JE M’APPELLE HUMAIN)

“Sauvage,” says Joséphine Bacon, “means to be wholly free.” When elders leave us, a link to the past vanishes along with them. Innu writer Joséphine Bacon exemplifies a generation that is bearing witness to a time that will soon have passed away. With charm and diplomacy, she leads a charge against the loss of a language, a culture, and its traditions. On the trail of Papakassik, the master of the caribou, Call Me Human proposes a foray into a people’s multi-millennial history in company with a woman of great spirit who has devoted her life to passing on her knowledge and that of her ancestors. In her language, Innu means “human.”

(FR Version)

« Sauvage » dit Joséphine Bacon, « ça veut dire être libre entièrement. » Lorsque les anciens nous quittent, un lien avec le passé disparaît avec eux. La femme de lettres innue Joséphine Bacon incarne cette génération témoin d’une époque bientôt révolue. Avec charisme et sensibilité, elle mène un combat contre l’oubli et la disparition d’une langue, d’une culture et de ses traditions, qu’elle a elle-même apprit de ses ancêtres. Sur les traces de Papakassik, le maître du caribou, Je m’appelle Humain propose une incursion dans l’Histoire d’un Peuple multimillénaire aux côtés d’une femme libre qui a consacré sa vie à transmettre son savoir et celui de ses ancêtres. Dans sa langue, innu veut dire « humain ».

Ghost Town Anthology

Ghost Town Anthology (Répertoire des villes disparues)

In Irénée-les-Neiges, a small isolated town with a population of 215, Simon dies in a car accident. Is it a suicide? No one wants to make a statement.  Strangers start to appear around the area. Who are they? What do they want? His family and friends are trying to find ways to deal with their grief and the mayor wants to isolate the town. There is this couple of forty-year-olds wondering about their future, these baby-boomers with their snap judgments and Adèle who’s starting to see and hear things. The strangers are seen in the snow, sowing the seeds of anxiety around them. This new film by Denis Côté is a melancholic allegory of Quebec rurality.

(FR Version)

Dans un village de 215 habitants, le décès inattendu d’un jeune homme sème la consternation. Accident ? Suicide ? Personne ne veut se prononcer. Sa famille et ses amis tentent de trouver des moyens de faire face à ce deuil, la mairesse ne souhaite pas recevoir de l’aide extérieure et les autres âmes vaquent à leurs occupations. Il y a ce couple de quarantenaires qui se demandent où se situera leur avenir, ces baby-boomers aux jugements faciles et la pauvre Adèle qui commence à voir et entendre des choses. Des étrangers sont d’ailleurs aperçus dans la neige, semant l’inquiétude autour d’eux. Qui sont-ils? Que veulent-ils? Ce nouveau film de Denis Côté est une allégorie mélancolique du Québec rural.

Jukebox: The American Dream, Made in Québec

Jukebox: The American Dream, Made in Québec (Jukebox: un rêve américain fait au Québec)

Jukebox recounts the beginnings of the record industry. As you tap your feet and dance in your seat, you will discover in Jukebox: The American Dream, one of Quebec’s most remarkable figures of popular culture. In the mid-fifties, Denis Pantis, the son of a Greek immigrant, had a passion for rock ’n’ roll. He dreamed of becoming the next Elvis but instead became the most important record producer of the 1960s. Jukebox retraces the steps of the man nicknamed the “King of the 45 record.” A new generation of stars, producers, musicians and lyricists emerged around him, forming together an “independent” record industry unlike any other in the world. Due to Pantis’ contributions to work Quebec-made records sold more than American and European records combined: this was the other great accomplishment of 1967, the year of Expo.

(FR Version)

Jukebox, c’est aussi le récit fascinant et révélateur des débuts de l’industrie du disque. On y découvre, en tapant des mains et en dansant sur son siège de cinéma, le plus étonnant personnage de notre histoire de la musique populaire. Denis Pantis, fils d’immigrant grec, se passionne de rock’n’roll au milieu des années 50. Son rêve? Devenir le prochain Elvis. Il va plutôt devenir le plus important producteur de disques des années 60. Jukebox retrace le parcours de celui qu’on surnomme «le roi du 45 tours». Autour de lui va émerger une nouvelle génération de vedettes, producteurs, musiciens, et de paroliers qui vont ensemble mettre en place une industrie du disque «indépendante», à nulle autre pareille dans le monde. Grâce à lui, pour la première fois, les ventes de disques  québécois dépasseront  celles  des  Américains  et  des  Européens  combinés.

Laughter (Le rire)

Laughter (Le rire)

As a civil war shakes the province of Quebec, Valerie is the sole survivor of a mass execution in which her boyfriend is killed. Years later she’s in a close relationship with her new partner, Gabriel. At the long-term-care centre where she works as an orderly, she befriends Jeanne, a well-read and funny woman dealing with an important physical handicap.

Mixing realism and disturbing strangeness, Laughter presents a human exploration of survivor’s syndrome, the grieving process, the distance of time, the power of love and the joy of being alive.

(FR Version)

Une guerre au Québec, une tuerie. Valérie y survit, mais pas son amoureux. Quelques années plus tard, elle oscille entre son passé qui la hante et la vie qui a repris son cours. Nous suivons son parcours dans une relation très complice avec son nouveau copain Gabriel et son travail de préposée aux bénéficiaires dans un CHSLD où elle se lie d’amitié avec Jeanne, une femme drôle, cultivée et handicapée.

Entremêlant réalisme et inquiétante étrangeté, Le Rire propose une exploration humaine du syndrome du survivant, et du processus de deuil du passé, avec la distance du temps, la force de l’amour, et la joie d’être en vie.

Summer of 85

Summer of 85 (Été 85)

From one of VFF’s favourite directors, François Ozon (Frantz8 Women, Swimming Pool), we bring you a lavish 1980s period piece – a bittersweet coming-of-age tale set on the coast of Normandy.

Loosely based on Aidan Chambers’s 1982 novel Dance on My Grave, the film centres around a fresh summer romance. The gloomy, working-class 16-year-old Alex (Félix Lefebvre), caught in a sudden thunderstorm on a sailboat, is rescued by the charming 18-year-old David (Benjamin Voisin). The boys immediately become best friends and lovers. For thrill-seeking and bourgeois David, coddled since birth by his eccentric mother (a hilarious Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), it seems to be no more than a game… with dark consequences.

Bursting with colourful summer scenes and teeming with charismatic performances, Summer of 85 is an alluring throwback to Ozon’s early films such as Criminal Lovers and Swimming Pool. This is a perfectly breezy and sun-drenched coming-of-age love story that will remind you why we all love French cinema.

The Big Hit

The Big Hit (Un triomphe)

Fresh from the mecca of the world’s finest cinema (Cannes Film Festival 2020), we bring you a heartfelt and delightful comedy inspired by true events.

The Big Hit follows Étienne, who is a past-his-prime but endearing theatre actor giving more drama lessons than actually spending time acting on a theatre stage. He is hired to be in charge of a project that’s very much new territory for him – a theatre workshop in a prison. Étienne ambitiously brings together an unlikely yet lovable troupe of convicts to stage Samuel Beckett’s famous play Waiting for Godot. After an unanticipated initial success, the colourful troupe is allowed to go on a tour outside the prison, with a final performance on one of the most prestigious stages in France, Paris’s Théâtre de l’Odéon. And that’s when things get complicated…

Presented in partnership with:

La Tournée Québec Cinéma

Francophone Affairs