SIBEL (2019)

A film by  Guillaume Giovanetti, Çagla Zencirci

Cast:  Damla Sönmez, Erkan Kolçak Köstendil, Emin Gürsoy 

Sibel, 25, lives with her father and sister in an isolated village in the Black Sea mountains of Turkey. Sibel is mute but communicates thanks to the ancestral whistling language of the region. Rejected by the other inhabitants, she hunts relentlessly a wolf who is in the forest. When suddenly a fugitive shows up . Injured, threatening and vulnerable, and for the first time he will look at Sibel differently.

Sibel is mute since she was five due to the yellow fever that she contracted but has a closer bond with her father who has seen no reason to remarry. Although you have the small minded women who are threatened by her beauty and thinks it is bad luck to talk to her . The women from the village reject Sibel because of her handicap but it does not stop there even her sister rejects her. The father treats her has her favourite which Sibel learned how to hunt. Rumours about a wolf roaming in the forest so Sibel thinks if she kills the wolf the women in the village will respect her. When one day a fugitive makes an appearance near her cabin in the woods. It is going to change her world. Here is a strong and beautiful performance by Sönmez as Sibel which you are going to believe that this woman has lived in the woods in the mountains. The film was shot with natural light and what a beautiful photography comes out of it. Terrific film here not to be missed.

Advertisements

EXFILTRÉS (2019)

A film by  Emmanuel Hamon

Cast:  Swann Arlaud, Finnegan Oldfield, Jisca Kalvanda 

English: Exfiltrate

A true story, Rakka, Syria, spring 2015. Faustine opens her eyes to the hell she has thrown herself into with her 5 year old son. In Paris Sylvain the husband of Faustine is disturb by the news of his friend’s wife who is now sent a distress message to her husband. Two activists will attempt to extract Faustine and her son which is going to be a high risk operation.

Exfiltrated, inspired by an incredible true story, shows the resourcefulness of a group of young people to exfiltrate the woman that fell into a pitfall. Rakka Syria a hostile environment and trying to exfiltrate a young woman and her son not only it is going to be delicate but also very dangerous. A French woman and her young kid who made this mistake to be with the dangerous Daesh. We learn early on in the story that this young woman who is social worker in the ghetto converted to Islam a few month back. She naively believed in the promise by Daesh to make Syria a new world. There is a difference with Faustine here she is already married, most women who comes is promessed an husband. Most men who convert to Islam and see that is not what they sign up for seems to escape without a hitch. But no women can escape once there are in. It has not been done. They are killed or if they want to stay alive they do what they are told. Also it is costly to get them out. Sylvain and his two activists with the help of his boss are going to try the impossible because the state does not want to do a thing, well it is too risky for them. Seriously? Hamon has shot this film like a documentary and it works here. An ensemble cast to does their job well here. The director does its job here for a subject that is delicate but is not going to be solved any time soon.

THE TESTAMENT (2019)

A film by  Amichai Greenberg

Cast:  Ori Pfeffer, Rivka Gur, Hagit Dasberg

Yoel is an orthodox Jewish historian responsible for the preservation of Holocaust memorial sites. For years, he has been investigating a massacre that took place in the village of Lendsdorf in Austria, at the twilight of the Second World War. Hitherto patient and monastic, his research accelerates when he is assigned an ultimatum: for lack of tangible proof of the facts, the site will be concreted under a fortnight …

Yoel, a practicing Jew and historian, who must convince the leadership of his small town to stop development of land on which he believes there is a grave containing some 200 Jewish men, women, and children. It is the race against the clock, Yoel must find evidence and the truth but discovering secrets about his family has well. This mystery and historical drama moves along just fine. Ori Pfeffer plays yoel and gives a great performance to the role of this man who becomes obsessed in finding the truth. however the leadership of this small town wants to go on with their project as soon as possible. Finding secrets about his family is going to disturb him along the way. Of course there are some people who wants him to leave things along the past is the past. Here is an anti-hero who sees everything around him collapsing, but he follows his path silently in order to remain faithful to his professional and religious integrity not an easy thing to do when he discovered secrets in his own family. Do not miss this one.

REBELLES (2019)

A film by  Allan Mauduit

Cast:  Cécile de France, Yolande Moreau, Audrey Lamy

Without work or diploma, Sandra, former Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, returns to live with her mother in Boulogne-sur-Mer after 15 years on the Côte d’Azur. Hired at the local cannery, she vigorously rejects her boss’s advances and kills him accidentally. Two other girls witnessed the scene. As they prepare to call for help, the three workers discover a bag full of money in the deadman’s locker. A fortune that they decide to share. May the adventure begins…..

English title: Rebels

Rebelles” is a dark comedy that reveals three ordinary women in extraordinary situations: jubilant roles for Cécile de France, Audrey Lamy and Yolande Moreau. The film is a little bit à la Tarantino and you will think later on you are in a sergio Leone film. Here is Sandra (Cécile de France), Marilyn (Audrey Lamy) et Nadine (Yolande Moreau) who is suppose to clean the machinery after work and where Sandra’s boss is going to attempt to rape her which Sandra is going to cut something off him and he will try to get away in pain while falling is the stairs to his death. Well here are are three feminist musketeers who are going to find a bag a money from their dead boss. Now the thing is how to hide the body and what to do with the money? Rebelles avoid anchoring the film in a defined context, are we in 2019 od 1999 we do not know. No gadgets, no hi-tech here and no clichées either. The director here has a great casting here, the actresses does a great jobs to embody everyday women who are going to find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Here is a dark comedy with girl power. This amazing film, awarded at Alpe d’Huez, surprises with its constant changes of tone. This explosive comedy contains some dark humor, but has some great gags.

UNE INTIME CONVICTION (2019)

A film by  Antoine Raimbault

Cast:  Marina Foïs, Olivier Gourmet, Laurent Lucas 

English: Reasonable doubt

Since Nora attended the trial of Jacques Viguier, accused of the murder of his wife, she is convinced of his innocence. There is no doubt in her mind that that Viguier is innocent. She ask a lawyer to reopen the case and together they will fight against an injustice.

Based on a true story the dossier Jacques Viguier where a judge reopened the case to see if he could get Viguier off the charges of killing his wife. Well they didn’t have a body let along the murder weapon. To make it more interesting the director will use a fictional character, like the character of Nora (Marina Fois) and real life, lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti played by Olivier Gourmet. It is not just a trial movie here but also the team-up with Nora and the judge trying to dig up 100 hours of taped conversation. Ok here at the trial is a man who is convicted of the murder of his wife and to make it interesting there is the other story, the one of Nora helping the lawyer. She becomes obsessive and even neglect her son and her job as a cook at a restaurant. And yes there is a twist in the story. Three great actors here make their mark. It is a joy to see those brilliant actors especially Marina Foïs whose character is passionate and obsessive in getting Viguier off his charges.

STAN & OLLIE (2019)

A film by  Jon S. Baird

Cast: John C. Reilly, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson 

Laurel and Hardy, the greatest comedy duo of all time, embark on a tour across England. Now aging and forgotten by the audience , they struggle to sell tickets . But their ability to make the audience laugh they reinvent themselves and will allow them to win back the audience, and be successful again. Even if the specter of the past and new challenges shake the strength of their duo, this tour is a unique opportunity. to realize how humanly they count for each other …

The first scene of this wonderful film is of Stan & Ollie going to a set to make a film and discussing to negotiate their contract for more money. The next scene it is 16 years later in 1953 where The duo is aging and are off their game. They now perform in theater in England and fails to sell tickets. well they wanted to prove hollywood that they are still bankable enough for a Robin Hood film. Reilly is an good choice to play Oliver Hardy, due to the fact he has comic abilities and he even looks the parts. makeup that took four hours to apply in order for Reilly to look the part and he did. As for  Steve Coogan, whose resemblance to Stan Laurel is also rather uncanny and what a beautiful performance Coogan even walks like laurel. Laurel is the one who wrote the sketches and the two worked in sync. When they did the shows in England it became evident that Laurel reinvented the duo by being creative and even invented new sketches and they were back on top of their games. The third act is when Hardy gets sicks and it is sad to see him in that state because they just became to be on top again. Their wife were a big factor in their life. The film here has the right balance of comedy and drama. Beautiful film, do not miss this one.

Unit stills photography

CELLE QUE VOUS CROYEZ (2019)

A film by  Safy Nebbou

Cast:  Juliette Binoche, Nicole Garcia, François Civil 

English title : Who you think I am

To spy on her lover Ludo, Claire Millaud, 50, creates a false profile on a social networks and becomes Clara a beautiful young woman of 24 years. Alex, Ludo’s friend, is immediately seduced. Claire, trapped in her avatar, falls madly in love with him. If everything is played out in the virtual, the feelings are very real. A vertiginous story where reality and lies merge.

Here is Claire (Juliette Binoche) a professor of literature who is turning 50 and her husband left her to finds herself along. Although she has a lover about the age of her son. She one day spying on her lover by putting a fake profile on Facebook a young woman named Clara and immediately Alex the friend of Ludo is taken by her. She is anticipating the weight of the consequences of such a trickery. To overcome her humiliation and sorrow, she imagines herself in the shoes of another. And a game of manipulation is going to take place. To top it all off claire is seeing a psychologist and begins to tell her story. From an identity disorder, Safy Nebbou tells different stories that fit into one another, with some ingredients like manipulation, lies, cheating, and guilt. Reality is confused with fiction. There are a few twist in the story and a perfect ending to go with it. Here Binoche does a wonderful job with this ensemble cast. It is not surprise to me that she is still doing nude scene to incarnated her character. A wonderful actress where at 50 is still going strong and no sign of slowing down.