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The best from AFFFF20
Due to popular demand, we have added some additional, encore screenings from the most popular Alliance Française French Film Festival films before the festival closes on August 4.
Additional session films include:
Alice And The Mayor
After 30 years in politics, the Mayor of Lyon, Paul Théraneau (Fabrice Luchini, also in The Mystery of Henri Pick screening at this year’s Festival), suffers an existential crisis and turns to passionate, young philosopher, Alice Heimann (Anaïs Demoustier, AF FFF18, Jealous) for help. While the power balance appears uneven at first, once Mayor Théraneau and Alice enter the political arena, the result is a captivating debate between two very worthy opponents. With Alice and the Mayor, Pariser forces us to question the foundations upon which politics are built, and reveals his canny ability to produce sophisticated stories based on the power of language.
The Mystery of Henri Pick
The perfect film for lovers of literature and intrigue alike, writer/ director Rémi Bezançon (AF FFF12, A Happy Event) presents a riddle wrapped in an enigma, packed into a cheese-stained pizza box, that begs the questions: Who is Henri Pick, and how did this supposedly illiterate pizza cook write an acclaimed bestseller? Based on David Foenkinos’s 2016 book of the same name, The Mystery of Henri Pick revolves around the film’s enigmatic title character who, two years after his death, has his name sprawled across the covers of a celebrated novel, The Last Hours of a Love Story. However, not everyone is convinced of the author’s authenticity of this overnight sensation. Amongst the cynics is influential literary critic Jean-Michel Rouche (Fabrice Luchini, also in Alice and the Mayor, screening in AF FFF20) who sets out to discover the truth behind Pick and the book that bears his name. Camille Cottin co-stars as Joséphine Pick, daughter of the mysterious author, who reluctantly assists Rouche in navigating the secretive Breton landscape.
The Extraordinary is based on the real-life figure of Stéphane Benhamou who runs an informal shelter in Paris for autistic youth who have fallen through the cracks of a system unable to care for them. As their dedicated carer, Bruno, Vincent Cassel again demonstrates his talent in an extraordinary, no-limits performance. Struggling for both staff and money, Bruno is the heart and soul of his uncertified shelter, which comes under threat when authorities start investigating it. Despite the hard-hitting subject matter, this film gains levity through many moments of grace and humour. Profound and uplifting, The Extraordinary and its lessons about connection, dignity and equality will stay with you long after you leave the cinema.
In an unconventional pairing, Cyrano de Bergerac meets a chicken farm in this exciting animal fable from young filmmaker Mélanie Auffret. Idyllic Brittany serves as the backdrop for this amusingly sincere film that observes the economic realities of contemporary rural life. Poultry farmer Raymond (Guillaume de Tonquédec) lives happily with his wife (Léa Drucker) and their three children. While dedicated to producing the best eggs possible, Raymond harbours a passion for the stage, which he shares with his hens – the secret audience for his rousing performances of Edmond Rostand’s famous 1897 play, Cyrano de Bergerac.