Save the date(s)! The Tournées French Film Festival is returning to the Boise State University campus, January 24-February 8, 2019 with a great line-up of films. This year, screenings will be held at 6:00 p.m in Skaggs Hall of the Micron Business Building.
Tournées French Film Festival
Boise State University
Jan 24, 2019
Makala is an extraordinarily revealing and surprisingly gorgeous look at everyday life for a charcoal salesman in the Democratic Republic of Congo. French documentary filmmaker Emmanuel Gras follows 28-year-old Kabwita Kasongo through the entire process of making and selling charcoal: finding and cutting down a tree in the vast plains near his village in the southern region of Katanga, burying and burning the wood to create charcoal, loading multiple bulging bags of charcoal onto a rickety bicycle and walking it several days to the city of Kolwezi, where he hopes to sell his merchandise on its markets and streets. What sets Makala (the Swahili word for “charcoal”) apart from other documentaries about workers in developing countries is its sheer filmic quality: Kabwita’s simple but challenging objective to get the coal to the big city and sell enough to buy supplies to build a house for himself and his family has the dramatic force of the great humanist films from Bicycle Thieves on down, while Gras’s virtuosic widescreen camerawork constantly anchors his individual struggle in the larger context of the Congo’s breathtakingly beautiful landscape and its rapidly shifting economy.
Jan 25, 2019
12 JOURS / 12 DAYS
Presented by Dr. April Masarik, Department of Psychology
The French legal system calls for any individual who has been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility against his or her will to appear before a specialized judge twelve days after being admitted. After discussing the case with the patient and his or her counsel, the judge determines whether the hospitalization should be prolonged. Raymond Depardon, a master documentarian with extensive experience filming both the
French legal system and in hospitals, was given exceptional access to several of these closed hearings at a facility near Lyon. The hearings seen in 12 Days create an extraordinarily intimate set of portraits of individuals in distress, expressing their frustrations, fears, hopes, and, often, delusions. Facing them, a variety of judges are by turns helpless, paternalistic, attentive and even tender. But 12 Days’ greatest accomplishment is to reach beyond the individuals and address systemic questions regarding mental health and French society at large: in short, what is it about our contemporary world that drives us mad? The case of one patient’s workplace harassment at a telecommunications firm sketches a terrifying picture of our vulnerability under the reign of late capitalism. As always, Depardon remains a stoic but empathetic witness to the world’s sorrows.
Jan 31, 2019
BANDE DE FILLES / GIRLHOOD
Presented by Adriane Bang, LMSW, Director of Gender Equity Center
Girlhood, Céline Sciamma’s third feature, continues to probe what has been this perceptive writer-director’s abiding interest: female pubescence and adolescence, the stage when bodies and identities are still in flux. Set in the impoverished banlieues that ring Paris and are home to many of its French-African denizens, Girlhood focuses on Marieme (Karidja Touré), a sixteen-year-old who assumes responsibility for her two younger sisters while their mother works the night shift; the teenager must also frequently absorb the wrath of her tyrannical slightly older brother. School provides no haven from these hardships: Having
already repeated a grade twice, Marieme is told that vocational training is her only option. Rather than accept this indignity, she falls in with a triad of tough girls, abandoning her braids for straightened hair, her
hoodie for a leather jacket—and learning the pleasures of raising hell at malls in Les Halles and impromptu dance-offs on the Métro. Led by the swaggering Lady (Assa Sylla), this crew—whose members are all played
by charismatic first-time performers—boosts Marieme’s confidence. “You have to do what you want,” Lady exhorts her; patiently and astutely, Girlhood follows Marieme as she tries to put this mantra into practice
while being repeatedly reminded of her severely limited options.
Feb 1, 2019
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO
Presented by Gayla Thomas-Dabney, Director of Equity and Inclusion
Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck’s brilliant documentary on racism in America is an essential work for our era, drawing a clear line from the Civil Rights struggle to today’s Black Lives Matter movement via the
thought of James Baldwin, one of the most lucid, fearless Ameri- can thinkers on race (and many other matters). Based on Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, which considered the history of racism through memories of Baldwin’s friends the civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers, I Am Not Your Negro analyzes white denial and black experience of racial oppression in a historical and contemporary context, bringing Baldwin’s observations into the present through powerful juxtapositions of his words (read in voiceover by Samuel L. Jackson) and, for instance, images of the Ferguson protests. Peck also generously culls from archival sources, notably the extensive talk show appearance in
which Baldwin, an eloquent and spirited orator, publicly expresses that the “negro” is a white construct, and anything but a definition of who he is. By providing an impassioned, accessible introduction to James
Baldwin’s work and thought, Peck has given us a crucial reference to address ongoing injustice in the United States.
LA PASSION DE JEANNE D’ARC / THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
Presented by Ryan Cannon, M.F.A, Film and Television Arts
In 1927, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, the director whom James Agee would later call “one of the few moralists, and classicists, and incorruptible artists, in movies,” was invited to make a film in France. He settled on the story of Joan of Arc and spent a year researching her life, drawing primarily from the transcripts of her trial. The resulting account of her trial and execution stands as one of the towering achievements of the silent cinema and has consistently been voted one of the best films of all time. Like all truly great works of art, The Passion of Joan of Arc is full of paradoxes, yielding a blend of expressionism and realism that is both deeply mystical and utterly material, astonishingly abstract and unflinchingly carnal. These conflicting yet complimentary impulses are the result of Dreyer’s innovative methods, but perhaps the secret to The Passion’s enduring place in film culture is the trance-like performance by stage actress
Renée Falconetti as Joan. In some of the most glorious close-ups in cinema, Falconetti’s wide eyes express all the pain, strength, and inextinguishable faith of a woman hounded by a society of men. As such, her performance continues to speak to our time.
Carl Theodor Dreyer
L’ATELIER / THE WORKSHOP
Presented by Dr. Jason Herbeck, Department of World Languages
In The Workshop, acclaimed writer-director Laurent Cantet takes an illuminating approach to a variety of key issues haunting contemporary France. Olivia, a successful Parisian novelist, has been hired to spend
the summer in La Ciotat, a beautiful but economically battered town on the Mediterranean, teaching a writing workshop for a diverse group of young people whose only common denominator, as is so often the
case among twentysomethings in the French provinces, is that they are unemployed. Among them are an emancipated but religious Muslim woman, students proud of their region’s strong but declining his-
tory of labor movements, recent immigrants, some hedonists focused on the next party, and Antoine, a strikingly intelligent, confrontational young man with affiliations to extreme right-wing groups. Through
class discussions and the conflicts that ensue, Cantet presents an unflinching look at the delicate integration of conflicting religious and cultural beliefs in a period plagued by the threat of terrorism. And as
Olivia attempts to understand what brought Antoine to embrace a reprehensible ideology, The Workshop builds into a breathtaking thriller that deftly avoids formulaic answers to provide startling insight into a situation that applies far beyond France.
SPONSORS & PARTNERS
Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the generous support of:
- Idaho Film Collection
- Boise State University
- Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.
- Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC)
- Franco-American Cultural Fund (DGA / MPA / SACEM / WGAW)
- Florence Gould Foundation
- highbrow entertainment