My Afternoons with Margueritte

It’s the story of one of those improbable encounters that can change the course of one’s life: the encounter, in a small public garden, between Germain, fifty and barely literate, and Marguerite, a little old lady passionate about reading. Forty years and 220 pounds separate them. One day, purely by chance, Germain sits down beside Marguerite. She’ll go on to read aloud extracts from novels and thereby allow him to discover the magic of books, from which Germain imagined he was excluded for life. Until then, his family circle and drinking buddies took him for an idiot; stupidity will now change places! But Marguerite is losing her sight. For the love of this charming, mischievous and caring grandmother, Germain will teach himself and show her that he’s capable of reading aloud to her when she is no longer able to do so herself. [UniFrance Films]

Sarah’s Key

Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers – especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive – the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. [Synopsis courtesy of the film’s site]