In Justine’s family everyone is a vet and a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a gifted teen ready to take on her first year in vet school, where her older sister also studies. There, she gets no time to settle: hazing starts right away. Justine is forced to eat raw meat for the first time in her life. Unexpected consequences emerge as her true self begins to form.
In 1970s Iran, Marjane ‘Marji’ Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah’s defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own.
In Rio, Orfeo is a trolley conductor and musician, engaged to Mira. During Carnival week, he sees Eurydice, who’s fled her village in fear of a stalker; it’s love at first sight. Her cousin Sarafina, with whom she stays in Rio, is a friend of Orfeo and Mira, so the star-crossed lovers meet again. Later, during the revels, wearing Sarafina’s costume, Eurydice dances a provocative samba with Orfeo. Not only is Mira enraged when her rival is unmasked, but she is being stalked by Death: Eurydice is in danger, pursued through noisy crowds and a morgue. Can Orfeo conduct her to safety? Don’t look back.
The Long Absence (French: Une aussi longue absence) is a 1961 French film directed by Henri Colpi. It tells the story of Therese (Alida Valli), a café owner mourning the mysterious disappearance of her husband sixteen years earlier. A tramp arrives in the town and she believes him to be her husband. But he is suffering from amnesia and she tries to bring back his memory of earlier times.
A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their childrens’ boarding school. Slowly they reveal themselves to each other, finding that each is a widow/widower. Each is slow to reveal anything personal so that each revelation is hidden by a misperception. They become friends, then close friends, and then she reveals that she can’t have a lover because, for her, her husband’s memory is still too strong. Much of the film is told wordlessly in action, or through hearing one of their thoughts as they go about their day.
Thérèse Clerc is one of the great figures of militantism. From the struggle to legalize abortion to the fight for equal rights of men and women and the battle for gay rights, she’s been on the front lines of all of them. She has just learned that she has an incurable disease and has decided to take a last look back over her life, a tender and lucid look at the battles and the love that went with them.
Courgette is no wallflower, he’s a valiant little boy. When he loses his mother, he is sure he is alone in the world. But that’s before he makes his new friends in the children’s home. Simon, Ahmed, Jujube, Alice and Béatrice : they all have their stories and they are equally heartbreaking and tender. But there’s also a girl, Camille. When you’re 10 years old, there is so much to discover – like what it’s like to have a gang of friends, to fall in love, and hey, maybe even to be happy. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Soane, a young man of Wallisian origin from New Caledonia, defies his father’s authority to go play rugby in France. Left to his own devices on the other side of the world, his odyssey will take him on the path to becoming a man in a world where there is a price to be paid for success. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Samir, a tall, lanky, 40-something crane operator from Montreuil, in the outskirts of Paris, falls head over heels in love with Agathe. He discovers she is a swimming instructor at the local swimming pool, and, for lack of a better plan, he decides to enlist as her student…although he can swim perfectly. But his lie only lasts for 3 lessons, and Agathe hates liars. The truth surfaces. Agathe is furious. The end?
Not quite! Agathe goes to Iceland on a business trip, putting an ocean between her and Samir. But it is without reckoning with his feelings and his stubbornness… [Synopsis courtesy of Directors’ Fortnight]