Belle épine

After the death of her mother, 17-year-old Prudence finds herself living alone in her Paris apartment. Then she meets Maryline, a rebel of her own age, who introduces her to the thrills of motorcycle racing on the biker circuit at Rungis. Prudence’s newfound lease of freedom becomes complicated when she falls for a boy Franck who wastes no time in taking advantage of her naivety…


Fresh from her remarkable, award-winning role in last year’s Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, Kristin Scott Thomas returns to the Festival opposite the smouldering Catalan actor Sergi Lopez in Catherine Corsini’s gripping tale of a mid-life affair in southern France.

A gunshot erupts in the night, puncturing the quiet of a slumbering house. From this ominous opening, Partir jumps back in time several months. Suzanne (Scott Thomas) is preparing to return to work as a physiotherapist after years at home caring for her brusque doctor husband, Samuel (Yvan Attal), and her teenaged son and daughter. Samuel hires Ivan (Lopez) to build Suzanne her own backyard clinic. A former convict with a young daughter in Spain, Ivan responds cautiously at first to Suzanne’s natural warmth. But when an accident brings the two closer together, social barriers give way to mutual attraction. As their relationship intensifies, Suzanne leaves her bewildered husband and children, abandoning her comfortable lifestyle for Ivan’s cramped apartment. Practical matters soon disturb the lovers, however. Ivan can’t work because of an injured leg, and Suzanne, thwarted by her aggrieved husband, is reduced to doing odd jobs. With money growing scarcer, she becomes increasingly desperate.

Corsini sets a simmering mood from the outset, contrasting the cool, clean aesthetic of the domestic space with Suzanne’s sun-kissed vitality. Yet for all the heat of the affair, Partir is in essence the story of a family in freefall. While the daughter echoes her father’s anger at Suzanne, the son remains loyal, and his attempts to support his mother as she veers further and further away from the woman he knew are truly touching. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

The Place in Between (Notre étrangère)

A young biracial woman raised in France travels to Burkina Faso in search of the mother she hasn’t seen in many years. Meanwhile, in Paris, an émigré from Burkina Faso who makes her living as a cleaner teaches the Dioula language to a white middle-class office worker, in this affecting story of global displacement.


Alex is twenty-seven years old. He sells shit and lives in the shadow of his brother Isaac, which after its support has become his burden. So when his cousin told him he opened a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Alex imagines finally get to change lives. Determined from Alex must therefore find the money and make Aliyah. But he will also leave everything: he loves Paris, Esther his former love, Mathias and his lifelong friend Jeanne he just met. Seized between Aliyah, selling drugs, his loves and a brother complex destructive, Alex must find her way. [Synopsis courtesy of Allocine -translated from French]

The Anarchists

Paris 1899. Corporal Jean Albertini, an orphan of humble origins, is chosen to infiltrate a band of anarchists. For him, it’s a chance to move up the ranks. But forced to compromise without respite, Jean is increasingly divided. On one hand, he delivers incriminating intelligence reports to his superior, Gaspar. On the other, he feels himself developing genuine feelings for the anarchists. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]