French Film Series at Calvin

The French Department of Calvin College is pleased to announce its 13th annual French Film Festival September 20-21 and 27-28, 2017. This year’s festival theme is “Fils et Filles”:

Sept. 20 - Fatima: Story about an immigrant mother (Fatima) and two daughters. Fatima is divorced; father appears on the scene from time to time. Older daughter is in medical school, under pressure to succeed. Younger daughter is in high school, rebelling, feels neglected, failing school. Fatima does maid work to support daughters. Fatima’s speaks French with difficulty. She tries to do the best for her daughters, and finally quits working as a maid to spend more time with daughters. Film ends well. Cultural portrait of immigrant experience in France. Language: mainly in French (Fatima speaks to her daughters in Arabic and they respond in French). 

Sept 21 - Hope:  Young Nigerian woman (Hope) and young Camerounais man (Léonard) meet up in the Sahara desert and make their way to Morocco together. Very well done to show the vulnerability of the refugees, violence against men and women, the great risks they have to take as they flee. They eventually make it across the strait to Spain, but Léonard dies of knife wounds in the boat, and Hope is left to keep going on her own, pregnant (unknown father—rape & prostitution have occurred during the film). For a mature audience willing to engage with emotionally difficult film portraying the reality of the refugee experience in West Africa. Languages: French, English and some Arabic spoken (Hope speaks English; Léonard speaks French).

Sept 27 - Good Luck, Algeria: Samir (Sami) and Stéphane make elite cross-country skis but their business is about to go under. Sami is half-Algerian by his father, but has no emotional ties to Algeria and speaks no Arabic. His mother is blond, French. Sami is married to a French woman who is pregnant with their second child. Stéphane comes up with the bright idea to save their business by having Sami become an Olympian star. Sami works hard to qualify for the Olympics as an Algerian and makes one quick trip to Algeria to seek funding from the Algerian government. Some comic moments, cultural insights. Filmed mostly in the area around Grenoble. Fun film showing a 2nd generation immigrant experience. Language: French.

Sept 28 - Rosalie Blum: Based on a comic book series by the same name. Rather eccentric characters in a creative story line. The film repeats the first sequence of events from several characters’ points of view, and plays with the viewer by not making that clear at first. The film then goes on to a happy (though not entirely predictable) finish. Fun quirky artistic film. Language: French.

All films are subtitled in English and are free and open to the public. Please see Calvin’s website for more details.