World Cinema Produced by France
Each year, several films around the world are developed, produced or co-produced by French production companies: COLCOA dedicates an evening to these films to highlight the support of French industry to World Cinema.
In 2014, Merzak Allouache’s The Rooftops won the COLCOA LAFCA’S Critic Special Mention.
This year, the series is scheduled on Wednesday, April 22 in the Truffaut Theater.
US Premiere • France, Syria • COLCOA.doc
War has always been hell, but we haven’t always had cell phone cameras to capture it. Silvered Water, Syria Self Portrait documents the Syrian civil war in a way that war has never before been seen. Expressionistically edited from video postings on social media, the film achieves an immediacy that is powerful, shocking, and surprising. Organized into chapters, “1,001 Syrians” bear unblinking witness to the horrors, the senseless destruction, and chaos, but who would expect images of so many maimed and hobbled cats, or “freedom” written in blood on virgin snow? Exiled Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed compiles his found-footage Guernica from Paris, and advises young Kurdish filmmaker Wiam Simav Bedirxan, who volunteers to act as his eyes in Syria, all the while commenting on his own sense of despair and helplessness, and hoping against hope that film can still make a difference.
North American Premiere • France, Israel
(Followed by a discussion with writer-director Shirel Amitay)
In the fall of 1995, three 30-something French sisters, Darel, Cali, and Asia, gather in Atlit, a small Israeli town on the Mediterranean coast to clear out their departed parent’s beloved country house so it can be sold. With Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin closing in on a negotiated peace accord with the Palestinians, the sisters find themselves in an Israel torn between optimism and fatalism. Meanwhile their reunion becomes an occasion for all their shared memories of this place to come flooding back, and the siblings realize that they too are torn about what to do with their childhood home. Old resentments resurface when Darel tries to impose her will on the prickly Cali. Complicating matters considerably, apparitions begin making impromptu appearances, including the friendly ghosts of the sisters’ parents Mona and Zack, kvetching away in broad daylight. Géraldine Nakache (All That Glitters, 2010), Judith Chemla (Camille Rewinds, 2012), and Yaël Abecassis (Kadosh, 1999) make a memorable trio in this bright and whimsical family drama set against a shocking turning point in Israeli history. Written and directed by Shirel Amitay
US Premiere • France, Japan • After 10 Series
This 2014 Palme d’Or nominee, from writer-director Naomi Kawase, is a lyrical and visually arresting rumination on the meaning of love life and death set in the exotically verdant Japanese island of Amami. The quiet story centers on Kaito and Kyoko, 16 year-old classmates whose nascent sexual awakening is put on hold by a heavily tattooed corpse that washes up after a typhoon. The sudden intrusion of death reinforces Kaito’s fear of the sea but the more adventurous Kyoko sees the body as a mystery to be solved. Both have troubled home lives. Kaito’s divorced mother is too busy earning a living to give him the attention he needs, while Kyoko struggles to accept her mother’s terminal illness, especially since her mother is a revered shaman. When Kaito discovers his connection the dead body, he is forced to re-examine everything that he has taken for granted in his life. Still The Water is an intensely personal yet universal glimpse into Japan’s folkloric traditions, where coming-of-age means coming to terms with the unity of nature.