8:00 PM, 5th November, 2010
Le père de mes enfants is a critically acclaimed French drama, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and the best screenplay Lumière award (the French Oscars) in 2010, amongst other accolades.
Grégoire Canvel has everything a man could want: a wife he loves, three delightful children and his dream job – he is a film producer. Discovering talented filmmakers and developing films that fit his conception of the cinema, free and true to life, is precisely his reason for living. Grégoire devotes almost all of his time and energy to his work. Unfortunately this means family weekends are regularly interrupted by investors and directors. But with the risks taken to preserve his artistic vision, his well-regarded production company soon encounters financial difficulties. As he acknowledges those risks, events unfold that will forever change his family.
Hansen-Løve took her inspiration for this film from the actions of a real-life French producer. The movie really begins after the tragedy, moving from a light, at times funny, dramedy to something much darker as the repercussions are felt by those around him. This jarring shift in tone mirrors the changes experienced by the characters and certainly serves to drag the viewer in. The script and pacing is excellent and the cast perform admirably. A dark look at the dangers of following your dreams too blindly.
10:15 PM, 5th November, 2010
If you thought Australians were cruel with what we do to refugees, wait until you see what the French attitude is…
Bilal (Ayverdi) is a refugee from Iraq who has arrived in the French city of Calais, where he and his fellow asylum seekers live in poverty camps in the docklands. When he starts to take swimming lessons from Simon (Lindon), the two form a bond and try to use each other for their own goals – Simon wants to win back his ex-wife, refugee worker Marion (Dana), and Bilal’s reasons for improving his breaststroke soon become scarily apparent.
Phillippe Lioret’s film has stirred the pot well and truly in his homeland France because, as mentioned earlier, the French are even more cavalier in attitude toward asylum seekers than we are. They are happy to have them living on the streets in squalor, some with little to no hope of gaining residency, and many choose to turn a blind eye to it all. This film wrenches at the humanity of the plights of these people. But it’s much more than a moral/political lesson – it’s also a great story with solid acting and a well-written script. Take the opportunity to see this important and moving film here at Coombs.