♦ The Return of the Swallows ***
de Li Ruijun
Chinese film, 2 h 13
A marriage arranged by their two families binds Cao Guiying, a young woman handicapped because of the ill-treatment suffered in her childhood, to Ma, a peasant living with the rhythm of the seasons with his donkey. From this improbable union will be born a moving love story. The filmmaker films the passage of time and the major stages of a life, according to the work in the fields and the construction of the house that Ma built with the strength of the wrist and according to ancestral techniques.
READ THE REVIEW: Li Ruijun’s ‘Return of the Swallows’ Love Is in the Meadow
♦ As long as the sun is beating ***
by Philippe Petit
French film, 1 h 25
Max, a young amateur landscaper, decided, encouraged by a handful of residents, to fight to transform a vacant lot in the heart of Marseille into a garden with varied flora. During the day, the young man is a maintenance worker in a municipal park. The rest of the time, he works so that his flowery project sees the light of day. Even if it means abandoning his wife and daughter. The film denounces an opportunist vision of town planning and seeks to confront it with those who suffer from it.
READ THE REVIEW: ‘As long as the sun beats down’, Plants of Discord
♦ Central ***
de Kajsa Næss
Norwegian and Belgian animated film, 1h30
In Mussolini’s Italy in 1925, Umberto Nobile, an aeronautical engineer, was contacted by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen who ordered an airship capable of facing polar conditions for an expedition to the North Pole. Enthusiastic Umberto Nobile will accompany Roald Amundsen on his wanderings, followed by his faithful dog Titina. At once poetic, realistic and political, Between manages to amaze while making people laugh, on an unknown part of the conquest of the roof of the world.
READ THE REVIEW: Kajsa Næss’ ‘Titina’, an animated epic to the North Pole
♦ For France **
de Rashid Hami
French film, 1 h 53
In 2012, in the middle of an autumn night, a group of young soldiers equipped with all their gear prepare to cross an icy pond as part of a hazing session. When they discover that they have no footing, panic seizes the young recruits. In the confusion, no one notices that a soldier is missing. This is Jallal Hami, 24, brother of the director. Rachid Hami puts this implacable mechanism at the service of an intimate drama and a touching testimony of brotherly love.
READ THE REVIEW: “For France” by Rachid Hami, brothers in arms and tears
♦ Emmett Till **
wrote Chinonye Chukwu
American film, 2 h 12
The film is based on the true story of Emmett Louis “Bobo” Till’s death on August 28, 1955, at age 14. An event that upset part of America at the time. It is through the media coverage of a photograph of his remains that the abuse suffered is evoked. This film with a classic staging, didactic without excess, usefully restores the atmosphere of the southern United States in the 1950s, the impunity of the assassins and the daily terror for the Blacks.
» READ THE REVIEW: « Emmett Till », symbol of segregationist America
♦ The Great Magic *
by Noémie Lvovsky
French film, 1h50
Charles, a contemptuous and jealous notable, keeps his wife under glass at the risk of suffocating her. While they are on vacation, Marta takes advantage of a conjuring act, organized by a troupe of acrobats, to take to their heels. To the husband who urges the return of his wife, the distraught magician will hand over a box in which she is supposed to be. A very theatrical adaptation of Eduardo De Filippo’s play on the power of fiction and the stories we tell ourselves to make reality more bearable.
READ THE REVIEW: “La Grande Magie”, the great theater of illusions