C’est bien

Scenes from Les Misérables (above), The Bare Necessity (below) and Zombi Child (bottom).

A GRITTY drama about  immigrant abuse in Paris, Les Misérables, is one of the highlights of this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival.

Set in the volatile Paris district of Montfermeil in the aftermath of the 2018 World Cup, the tense drama is based on real-life police brutality that was filmed by director Ladj Ly.

Street-wise and full of energy, the film depicts abuses against poor immigrants, especially teenagers from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb.

Some of the movie was filmed using a drone, giving it a cinema verite quality, and Les Misérables builds to a thrilling denouement that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The film was Ly’s full-length directorial debut and won a jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and was nominated for the academy award for best foreign film.

Audrey Lureau, managing director of Alliance Française Perth, says several movies at this year’s festival like The Extraordinary, School Life and Oh Mercy, also deal with social issues. Now in its 31st year, the festival will screen 28 French flicks, including those by break-out French directors like Ly and Erwan Le Duc.

Le Duc’s debut feature The Bare Necessity was shown in the directors’ fortnight section at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Full of quirky characters and droll humour, it follows a broken family in a quiet rural French town coming to terms with a tragedy, and will appeal to Wes Anderson fans.

If your after something a bit darker then check out Zombi Child, directed by Bertrand Bonello.

The film begins in 1962 in Haiti, where a man is resurrected from the dead and trapped in a nightmare of slavery. 

Fast forward to modern-day Paris and Haitian teen Mélissa, the new girl at an elite school, is invited to join a secret ‘literary sorority’. 

But the dark family secret she harbours becomes a source of fascination to others, who exploit her voodoo heritage with shocking results. 

The festival will kick off with the critically-acclaimed La Belle Epoque (a man is given a second chance to revisit the love of his youth when he finds a company that lets him relive memories through orchestrated re-enactments).

The French film festival runs from July 14 – August 4 at Palace Raine Square, The Windsor and Luna on SX. 

For more details go to http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org 

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