It’s no secret that I have been missing my regular trips to France, so it was with great delight that I accepted an invitation to the Brisbane French Film Festival 2022. This year more than ever it’s lovely to be transported to another time and place through the magic of the silver screen. Hosted by Alliance Francaise, audiences will be treated to 42 films, five Director debuts and several world and Australian premieres. Be transported to France, Lebanon, Mali, Canada, Tibet, the North Pole and more whilst enjoying some great french storytelling. You can travel through time from the 18th and 19th century through to modern day, no time machine needed. She Society were excited to sip some Nicolas Feuillatte bubbles, sup on French patisseries from Moda and relax at the stylish Palace Barracks while viewing the dramatic Farewell Mr Haffman.
Farewell, Mr Haffman is a World War Two drama starring legendary French actor, Daniel Auteuil. He plays Joseph Haffman, a master jeweller, who also happens to be Jewish. It’s 1941 and in occupied Paris, Jews are ordered to identify themselves by wearing a yellow star. A fearful Mr Haffman arranges for his family to flee the city. He offers his employee, Francois Mercier (Gilles Lellouche), the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. But his own attempts to escape are thwarted and he must rely on his assistant’s protection.
It’s a risky proposition for both men and one that Mercier’s wife, Blanche, is sceptical of. Blanche is beautifully played by Sara Giraudeau. As the couple move into the Haffman home, the agreement turns into a Faustian bargain which will have consequences for them all. It’s a twisty, turning drama set in wartime Vichy, France. Rich in history, moral dilemmas and empathy this film is a must see of this year’s festival.
Guests at the launch were treated to a taste of France, as well as a tasty bite of some of the best films on offer. There are plenty of comedies, family dramas, crime stories, documentaries, family friendly fare and stories of love to look forward to in this 33rd Alliance Francaise French Film Festival.
Star studded films abound. The beloved Inspector Maigret will be brought to life by well known star, Gerard Depardieu. Vanessa Paradis stars in Love Songs For Tough Guys, a romantic comedy where a disparate group of people find love through the arts. My favourite, Juliette Binoche, stars as a writer, posing as a cleaner to mine for stories in the drama, Between Two Worlds. This one looks like a definite must watch for me.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful documentaries on offer is The Velvet Queen, a magnificent ode to nature set to the music of Warren Willis and Nick Cave. It’s the real life drama of the film makers in search of the elusive Nepalese Snow Leopard. Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is a funny look at seven men aged 17-70 who embark on an hilarious trek to find their true selves and in doing so become better men. Cannes favourite, Paris 13th District is a vibrant adaptation of Adrian Tomine’s graphic novel, Killing and Dying. It’s a tale of young love in contemporary Paris, filmed in sumptuous black and white.
Special events include the Opening Night and Australian premiere screening of Lost illusions, an historical drama which reimagines Balzac’s classic tale. Closing Night will share another Down Under premiere with the comedy drama and feel good movie, Fly Me Away.
So whether you’re a romantic or a realist you will delight in all the delicious treats this year’s Alliance French Film Festival has plated up for you. The 2022 festival runs from 16 March – 13 April at both the Palace Barracks and Palace James Street. The 33rd Alliance French Film Festival is a welcome Ode a la Vie!
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.