The First Man

An adaptation of Albert Camus’ autobiographical last novel. Part childhood memoir, part epic narrative of Camus’ beloved Algeria and its struggle for independence from France, The First Man was left unfinished by the Nobel Prize-winner who died at age 46. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Happy to Be Different

An older gay couple in a city in northern Italy talk about their decades-long relationship. A man describes how he was physically abused by his father because of his sexual identity. Another, who had a high-flying career, recounts a sexually fulfilled life and mentions numerous homosexual politicians. Gay men from across the social classes and regions of the country have their say and discuss the different conditions which determined gay life in Italy. Their stories recall isolation, discrimination, suffering and violence, but also reveal designs for a happy life. There is a discomfiting and controversial discrepancy between the reality of the individual accounts and the media coverage. The latter often portrays gay people with a discriminatory irony or is manipulating and vitriolic, especially where intellectuals are concerned. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]