Tag: French

I was my mother’s best friend

WHO WAS YOUR mother when she was a child? And would you have played with her, if you had met her when you both were eight years old? These ideas are, admittedly head-spinners all of their own. Without sensationalist hi-jinks, Céline Sciamma’s beautiful film, Petite Maman explores the […]

The elephant in the pool

BIAS. THE PERCEPTIONS of value with which one is raised is something that can penetrate so deeply and so early in one’s social behaviour that often it surfaces in a way that is inexplicable. Particularly to others. Aga Woszczynska, in her 2022 work, Silent Land, explores a level […]

Yes, he’s heavy; he’s my brother

CHILDHOOD IN THE presence of other people’s children can be terrifying, if you are seven. Think of children bigger, more gregarious than you. Children who have a different understanding of privacy, of play, of parameters, to you. Laura Wandel’s extraordinary work Playground offers a child’s perspective on the […]

Who is Zhenia? What is he?

YOU MAY BE forgiven for thinking you’ve keyed into a Neil Gaiman novel in the first few minutes of Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert’s film Never Gonna Snow Again. Featuring Alec Utgoff as a young Russian with many unusual skills, the opening scene in this mysterious but beautiful […]

Evil giants; hapless mermaids

HOW DO YOU tell your beautiful little six-year-old daughter that she faces a sheer cliff in terms of how the year ahead may look for her health? Little girls are supposed to be thinking about unicorns and mermaids, dragon slayers and princesses, not about whether their arms and […]

How to look after a curmudgeon

RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE glue to life. And they’re the lubricant to most stories. The professional relationship between Aïssa (Déborah Lukumuena) and Georges (Gérard Depardieu) is central to Constance Meyer’s film Robust, which is widely punted as a tale of contrasts. It is available online and without cost, as […]

Ultimate betrayal

WHEN YOU ARE confronted with the idea of losing your person, you will turn into a demon if you have to. You will break heaven and earth with the hope that these combats may twist the path of the stars. Even if you know that you are just […]

Ahmed’s secret life

VERY RARELY ARE you privileged enough to experience a piece of work that is so supremely flawless in its articulation, coordination, depth and integrity that it raises a simple tale to biblical heights. Aleem Khan’s debut film After Love, featuring Joanna Scanlan is one such work. This tale […]

Men who are worth your tears

HE COMES INTO the 60th birthday party of his sister Solange, like a violent bull in a proverbial China shop, armed with a gift everyone knows he could not afford. The guests fear and hate him. He has an aggressive almost non-verbal approach which prickles your empathy. This […]

If we had nothing but love

THERE’S NOTHING QUITE like a dollop of Brel on a cold winter evening to warm the cockles of your heart. Embraced as schmaltz by generations of song-lovers everywhere, the rough and drunken, sad and maudlin brilliance of Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel (1929-1978) bring together a mix of wisdom […]