Marguerite and Julien

Julien and Marguerite de Ravalet, son and daughter of the Lord of Tourlaville, have loved each other tenderly since childhood. But as they grow up, their affection veers toward voracious passion. Scandalized by their affair, society hounds them until, unable to resist their feelings, they flee. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

My Friend Victoria

Adapted from a story by Doris Lessing, My Friend Victoria is a complex, poignant portrait of two young black women in contemporary Paris. The film follows them from childhood into adulthood, with the older Fanny narrating the story of her friend and adoptive sister. Aged eight, Victoria spends a night in the home of a wealthy white family; years later, she encounters them again and her life is changed forever. As Fanny and Victoria’s destinies take them in separate directions, the drama offers a distinctly fresh take on racial identity in contemporary France – and on questions of class, privilege and blinkered liberal racism. Superbly acted by newcomers Guslagie Malanda and Nadia Moussa, along with veterans Mouchet and Greggory, My Friend Victoria sees Jean-Paul Civeyrac returning to the LFF after his poetic, elegant Young Girls in Black (2010). His follow-up is an acutely intelligent achievement by a director whose time has surely come.

The Monk

A well respected monk, Capucino Ambrosio compromises himself with his carnal lust for a pupil, a woman disguised as a monk (Matilda), she tempts the monk to transgress and he is soon found desiring another, the innocent Antonia. Matilda uses magic spells to help the monk in his pursuit of Antonia, whom he later rapes and kills. It later emerges that Matilda is an instrument of Satan in female form. Focus also is also shown on Antonia’s previous relationship with Lorenzo, whose sister is tortured by hypocritical nuns for her own relationship. Returning to Ambrosio, he is delivered to the Inquisition; escaping only by selling his soul to the devil. The devil prevents Ambrosio’s final repentance, and informs Ambrosio that Antonia is the monk’s sister.