It’s Not a Cowboy Movie (Ce n’est pas un film de cow-boys) (2012) Short Film. Director : Benjamin Parent

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Brokeback Mountain aired on TV last night. Vincent watched it and has been completely shattered. Inside the junior high school toilets, he takes advantage of the recess to describe the film in a touching and naïve way to his classmate, Moussa. At the same time, in the girls-room, Jessica who’s been also deeply moved by the film bombards her best friend Nadia with awkward questions about her gay father.(mubi)..http://www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com/en

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Louise Wimmer (2011) Film.Director : Cyril Mennegun

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50-year-old Louise Wimmer is adrift. Her comfortable life is turned upside down when a painful separation and an unexpected crisis leave her immersed in debt and homeless, forcing her to sleep in her car. Her job as a hotel maid is not enough for rent or for paying off her debts. However, Louise keeps fighting for a better future. Refusing even the help of friends and a man who truly loves her, she will nevertheless find the strength to build a new life for herself. –Venice Critics’ Week.  (Mubi)..http://www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com/en

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea (Une bouteille à la mer) (2011) Film. Director : Thierry Binisti

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Tai is 17 years old. Naim is 20. She’s Israeli. He’s Palestinian. She lives in Jerusalem. He lives in Gaza. They were born in a land of scorched earth, where fathers bury their children. They must endure an explosive situation that is not of their choosing at an age where young people are falling in love and taking their place in adult life. A bottle thrown in the sea and a correspondence by email nurture the slender hope that their relationship might give them the strength to confront this harsh reality to grapple with it, and thereby ever so slightly change it. Only 60 miles separate them but how many bombings, check-points, sleepless nights and bloodstained days stand between them? (Imdb)

Tai is an Israeli girl. Naim is a Palestinian boy. She lives in Jerusalem. He lives in Gaza. Naim picks up a bottle thrown into the sea and finds Tai’s letter. Naim emails a response, and their correspondence nurtures what little hope is left in them. Although their two countries are involved in a vicious war of sorts, these members of the younger generation refuse to give up hope. The film opens with a bomb explosion in Jerusalem of September 2007. This scene summarizes the conflict of the two sides and the camera moves directly to lives of young men. The ‘privilege’ of youth has lost its meaning where daily lives involve bombings and inspections. When all attempts seem in vain, their efforts to communicate and understand reflect a last hope in this wonderful adaptation of the novel of same title by Valerie Zenatti. –BIFF

http://www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com/en

Bliss (Glück) (2012) Film. Director : Doris Dörrie

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Civil war ravages Irina’s country. Soldiers burst into her family’s house, kill her relatives and rape Irina. Traumatised, Irina flees to Berlin where she works illegally as a prostitute. In Berlin she meets Kalle, an unemployed punk, and lets him stay at her apartment. The two fall in love. But their happiness is soon threatened in the extreme when Kalle discovers a dead john in his girlfriend’s bed and commits a desperate deed.

Criminal defence lawyer Noah Leyden takes on the case. Having defended numerous clients during similar trials he considers himself something of a specialist in the pursuit of happiness; he also knows what can happen the moment luck runs out. Events surrounding Irina and Kalle provide him with fresh material with which to ponder his favourite topic …

Doris Dörrie’s film is based on a short story with the same title by Ferdinand von Schirach which appeared in Verbrechen, Schirach’s 2009 volume of stories, all of which were based on fact. Dörrie’s film interprets Schirach’s story as a study of a pair of lovers caught between their tenuous feelings of trust, long lost tenderness and a wretched situation. –Berlinale

Early One Morning (De bon matin) (2011) Film. Director : Jean-Marc Moutout

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Monday morning. Paul Wertret, 50, heads off to his job as a manager at the International Credit and Trade Bank. He arrives at 8 o’clock on the dot, as usual. He enters a meeting room, takes out a gun and kills two of his bosses. Then he locks himself in his office. As he waits for the inevitable police assault, this ordinary man looks back over his life and the events that led him to commit such an act. (Imdb)

Writer-director Jean-Marc Moutout made his mark at the LFF in 2003 with Work Hard, Play Hard, a trenchant anatomy of French executive culture – and a key entry in the cycle of films (like Laurent Cantet’s Time Out) examining the malaise of alienation in the French workplace. Moutout pursues his exploration in Early One Morning, set this time in the banking world. Jean-Pierre Darroussin, one of France’s most watchable actors – and a peerless interpreter of sympathetic everyman roles – plays Paul, a successful and accomplished bank executive whose life, as we see in the film’s quietly explosive start, has gone off the rails. Moutout’s drama, with its complex jigsaw construction and intense evocation of office paranoia, shows Paul’s seemingly perfect life falling apart as he discovers how the machinery of the financial world is designed to chew up disposable human resources. With a memorably abrasive cameo by Xavier Beauvois as Paul’s more than unsympathetic new boss, Early One Morning wraps psychological insight, sociological analysis and downright rage in one compelling and superbly executed package. –BFI

http://www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com/en

Breathing (Atmen) (2011) Film. Director : Karl Markovics

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Through his work at a morgue, an incarcerated young man trying to build a new life starts to come to terms with the crime he committed.

Roman Kogler, 18, is serving time in a juvenile detention center. He has already served half of his sentence, and could be released on probation, but his chances are poor: he doesn’t have family, and seems incapable of coping with society. After many failed attempts, Roman finds a probation job at the municipal morgue in Vienna. One day, Roman is faced with a dead woman who bears his family name. Even though it soon turns out that she is not his mother, Roman wonders about his past for the first time and starts looking for his mother.. (Mubi)

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2011) Film. Directors: Dmitry Vasyukov, Werner Herzog

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In the center of the story is the life of the indigenous people of the village Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga. The camera follows the protagonists in the village over a period of a year. The natives, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, keep living their lives according to their own cultural traditions. The expressive pictures are accompanied by original sound bites quoting the villagers. (Imdb)

Werner Herzog presents a picturesque documentary about the life of the indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. With the commentary written and narrated by Herzog, the camera follows a trapper through all four seasons of a year.

Siberia extends from Ural to the Pacifi c and is one and a half times the size of the USA. There are 38 million people that live in this massive area, the majority of them in the prosperous south. In the heart of the Siberian wilderness, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit a small village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost; one is by helicopter, the other by boat. Here in Bakhtia, deep in the wilderness, there‘s no telephone available, running water or medical aid. The people are on their own.

The locals, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, keep living their lives according to their own values and cultural traditions.
If the human civilization was destroyed, they would survive thanks to the knowledge of their forefathers…  (Mubi)