Film Screening 14th October, 2017

Poster for My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de Courgette)

My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de Courgette) 

7:00 PM, 14th October, 2017

  • PG
  • 67 mins
  • 2016
  • Claude Barras
  • Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud, Michel Vuillermoz

PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND

ORIGINAL FRENCH LANGUAGE VERSION

I first saw this delightful film at last year’s Melbourne Film Festival. It was then named My Life as a Courgette (an infinitely better title, if you ask me) and it was on a whim. It hadn’t made my shortlist of films to see, having essentially been unheralded for most of its life up until then. I was instantly charmed by its gentle nature, in the midst of some very bleak themes. I was obviously not the only one charmed as it proceeded to receive many accolades, including an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.

It’s a depiction of life for children in an orphanage, mainly focusing on one nicknamed Courgette. The children, each of who will absolutely steal your heart, are innocent victims of a more adult world, and the absolutely beautiful stop-motion animation design is just one part of what gives these characters their soul.

Upon reflection, these children have a lot in common with Charlie Brown, Linus and many other characters from the “Peanuts” comics. I sincerely hope that I have not in any way dissuaded you from seeing this film for fear of its serious themes, as it is a charming adorable little film that I am so glad the rest of Canberra finally get to see on the big screen with an audience.

Travis Cragg

Poster for The Country Doctor (Médecin de campagne)

The Country Doctor (Médecin de campagne) 

8:17 PM, 14th October, 2017

  • M
  • 99 mins
  • 2016
  • Thomas Lilti
  • François Cluzet, Marianne Denicourt, Patrick Descamps, Christophe Odent

Dr. Jean-Pierre Werner (Cluzet) is an old-fashioned doctor, who, although at times brusque in his manner, knows his patients intimately and is completely dedicated to them. When Jean-Pierre is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, he refuses to accept his own physician’s advice to stop working – or even slow down – because he believes that no one can take his place.

To assist him, the hospital sends recently graduated mature age doctor, Nathalie Delezia (Denicourt). Jean-Pierre is unconvinced that she will be able to meet the demands of a small country practice and he sets a number of unfair (but funny) traps for the newbie. As Jean-Pierre teaches Nathalie the ropes, a mutual respect develops and through them we get a firsthand and engrossing view of the daily round of country doctors, the challenges facing them, and the unique community they serve.

If the plot outline sounds a bit ho-hum and quotidian, well, that’s really the point. As directed by doctor-turned-director Thomas Lilti, The Country Doctor is an insightful, moving, and funny character drama that is well worth your time.

Deborah Dawkings