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The Bowdoin French Film Festival

  • 2/23/2013 | 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Location: Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom
  • Event Type: Movie/Film

The Bowdoin French Film Festival

TWO FILMS!!!


17 Filles (17 Girls)


4:00 P.M.
Beam Classroom
Visual Arts Center

Inspired by the true story of high-school students in a Massachusetts fishing town who made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together, 17 Girls, set in a French seaside village, intelligently examines, but never judges, the motivations of its adolescent protagonists. In their first film, sisters Delphine and Muriel Coulin explore the dynamics of a clique of girls led by Camille, who announces to her classmates during gym class that she’s expecting a baby. The members of her inner circle (and those who’d like to be part of this select group) announce that they will get pregnant, too, in solidarity. Their promise may be inspired by childish wishes for popularity, quasi-feminist, utopian notions of “sisterhood,” or by the desire to feel that something beyond the humdrum is possible for them in their small, dead-end town. Yet 17 Girls isn’t interested in providing answers to what ultimately can’t be explained; instead of making sociological pronouncements, the film more intriguingly observes the teenagers’ often contradictory concepts of freedom, the future, parenthood, and autonomy.


Le Havre


7:00 P.M.
Beam Classroom
Visual Arts Center

A wonderful celebration of France’s national motto—liberty, equality, fraternity—Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre is also something of a paean to World War II Resistance dramas. Told in Kaurismäki’s signature deadpan style, Le Havre centers around Marcel Marx, a once-famous Parisian writer now making his living shining shoes in the northern port town of the title. Marcel divides his time between drinking with his neighbors at the local bar and caring for his ill wife, Arletty —her name a tribute to the great French actress who made her best-known films in the 1930s and ’40s. But he soon serves a much nobler purpose when he comes to the aid of Idrissa, a young illegal immigrant from Gabon who is trying to join his family in England. Aided by his neighbors, Marcel keeps Idrissa safe from the clutches of the detective who comes looking for him. A film that reminds us of the importance of unsung heroes, Le Havre also highlights a most unlikely, and touching, friendship.