Upcoming Events

Francophone Film Festival: The Lovely Month of May (Le Joli Mai)

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April 22, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:45 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

This landmark documentary, co-directed by Chris Marker and Pierre
Lhomme, was filmed in May of 1962, just after the passage of the Evian Accords, which officially ended the Algerian War. During this "first springtime of peace" - the first time in 23 years that France was not involved in any war - the filmmakers interviewed a random assortment of people on the streets of Paris, an endeavor that was made possible by new technological advances, such as portable 16mm sync cameras. Marker, unseen, prompts his interviewees -  ranging from highbrow engineers to a destitute mother to an Algerian teenager to a West African student - with questions about their personal lives and their feelings about larger political and social matters. Giving shape to these candid responses is Simone Signoret's piquant, poetic narration (co-written by Marker), which balances astringent assessments about Parisians' disengagement
with the world with an unequivocal empathy for many of the film's
interlocutors.

Presented as part of the Bowdoin Francophone Film Festival, a part of the Tournees Festival, and made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the Centre National de la Cinematographie et de l'Image Animee, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.

Additional support provided by the Department of Romance Languages, La Famille francophone, as well as the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.

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Francophone Film Festival: The Missing Picture (L'Image Manquante)

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April 23, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

How can a filmmaker portray incomprehensible barbarity, especially when he himself and everyone he knew and loved was directly affected by this horror? Rithy Panh ingeniously uses carved and painted figures to represent himself and his family (and many others), who had to flee Phnom Penh for agricultural labor camps on April 17, 1975, the day that the Khmer Rouge seized Cambodia's capital city. 

In calm, occasionally astringent first-person narration, we learn that Panh was 13 when Pol Pot began his genocidal regime; by 1979, the year that the Khmer Rouge leader was removed from power, the director's parents, sisters, and a niece and nephew were dead, among the millions who perished. 
The title refers to the fact that almost all of the documentary footage - snippets of which is interspersed throughout the film - that exists from the Khmer Rouge's horrific four-year reign is nothing but propaganda that glorifies the party and its commander. What was never documented was the legions of Cambodians and their relentless suffering. Against intricately detailed dioramas, Panh's small clay human surrogates inexorably, almost magically, assume the qualities and dimensions of real people.

Presented as part of the Bowdoin Francophone Film Festival, a part of the Tournees Festival, and made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the Centre National de la Cinematographie et de l'Image Animee, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.

Additional support provided by the Department of Romance Languages, La Famille francophone, as well as the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.

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