Heal the Living

Heal the Living

Ivory Coast-born filmmaker Katell Quillévére adapts Maylis de Kerangal’s Booker Prize–longlisted novel for this elegant and affecting film which draws three seemingly unrelated stories together into a tale about the moment when tragedy meets hope. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

Un poison violent

Anna, a young teenager, comes home from her Catholic boarding school for the holidays and discovers her father has left. Her mother is devastated and confined in the company of the local priest, who is also a childhood friend. Anna clings to her beloved grandfather. She also grows close to Pierre, a free-spirited teenager who cares little about God. Anna is preparing for her confirmation, but her budding desire for Pierre shakes her faith. She longs to give herself over, body and soul… but doesn’t know if it is to God, or something else?


Like the stolen car he is driving in circles, Chérif’s life is going nowhere in a hurry. When he is arrested for the umpteenth time, Chérif’s exasperated mother strikes a last-chance deal with a judge to send the troubled juvenile to live quietly with his aunt and uncle in Strasbourg, and attend vocational school to learn a good trade, like masonry. Chérif’s earnest attempt to go straight is sending him directly to the doldrums, until he discovers that his even straighter-laced cousin Thomas is actually part of a local gang of taggers called ORK, who roam the Strasbourg night bombing walls and overpasses in the shadow of a mysterious tagger whose death-defying works have made him a legend. [Synopsis courtesy of COLCOA]


Like the titular song by Leonard Cohen, Suzanne is ultimately about a state of mind, a study in finding a sliver of grace amongst the heaps of garbage life can throw at you. Suzanne is close to her family, but between her widower father and her quiet sister, she is the troublemaker of the bunch. Restless and quixotic, her forgiving family endlessly endures the consequences of her dreams, her whims, and her bad choices. Largely set in 1990s Marseilles, the story elliptically pogo-dances through 25 years of Suzanne’s turbulent life: childhood, early pregnancy, single parenting, and above all, her driving love for an aspiring bad boy. [Synopsis courtesy of COLCOA]