Le Cancre

Laurent is seeking a path in life after living his childhood and teenage years in laziness. He has a conflictual relationship with Rodolphe, his father and both are too emotional to express their mutual affection. Despite the women of his life hanging around him , Rodolphe has but one obsession: meeting Marguerite again, the first love of his life. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

The Nun

Suzanne Simonin describes her life of suffering in letters. As a young woman she is sent to a convent against her will. Since her parents cannot afford the dowry required for a marriage befitting her rank they decide she must instead become a nun. Although a kind and understanding Mother Superior helps her to learn the convent’s daily routine, Suzanne’s desire for freedom remains unabated. When the Mother Superior dies, Suzanne finds herself faced with reprisals, humiliation and harassment at the hands of the new Abbess and the other Sisters. For many years, Suzanne is subjected to bigotry and religious fanaticism. (Berlinale.de)

Dead Europe

Australia’s Tony Krawitz (Jewboy, The Tall Man) directs the adaptation of The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas’ award-winning novel in this searing film about history, guilt and secrets. Ewen Leslie delivers a great performance as photographer Isaac, whose father’s death in suburban Sydney reveals the schism in his family and prompts a return to the ancestral homeland. On a trip to his parent’s village in Greece, he learns something of his father’s cursed history. At first he dismisses the revelation as superstitious nonsense, but over the course of his travels – from Greece to Paris to Budapest – Isaac is forced to confront the anti-Semitism of the past, the embedded bigotry in the bones of Europe and the nature of inherited guilt. It is on this fateful trip that Isaac will learn the truth of his family’s migration to Australia, their refusal to ever return to Greece, and the burden he continues to bear as a consequence of acts committed years before his birth.

Demain dès l’aube (Tomorrow at Dawn)

Mathieu, a piano virtuoso, goes home to help his brother Paul to take care of their sick mother. Paul is into reenacting old battles, dressing up and getting into character, even dueling if necessary. Mathieu gets involved in this world and play becomes real.

Being 14

Sarah is an unapologetic provocateur who traipses her way through school and life with abandon and encourages her friends to do the same. Louise finds her own footing after rebelling against her mother and leaving home. And Jade is dejected and lost after a falling out with Sarah and Louise in the winter term. Even as they move forward in their own ways, their relationship remains a constant in their lives, through the parties, boys, and their strained home life. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

In September 2011, while supposedly on the promotional tour for his novel ‘The Map and the Territory’, writer Michel Houellebecq briefly disappeared off the face of the earth. Wild rumours began circulating on the Internet that he’d been abducted by Al-Qaeda or aliens from outer space. Some Twitter users even expressed relief that the controversial author was suddenly no longer around. This film now reveals what really happened: Three tough guys variously with impressive hairstyles and bodybuilder physiques carried off the star intellectual (Houellebecq playing himself), taking him out of the daily stress of dodging autograph hunters and having his flat renovated – whatever happens, no Scandinavian design! – and bringing him to a beautiful rural underdog idyll, full of dog grooming, bodybuilding demonstrations, junk cars and Polish sausages. But who was to pay the ransom? François Hollande, maybe? It’s Michel’s birthday, which is celebrated with copious alcohol and a surprise named ‘Fatima’. And for the occasion, the kidnappers finally put on masks. The chain-smoking Houellebecq can relax: as he and every crime fiction fan knows, it’s only unmasked kidnappers that spell trouble. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

The Mother and the Whore

An unemployed young man gets deeply involved in a love triangle with both his girlfriend and a Polish nurse who he met at a café.