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French and French-Language Films at St. Louis International Film Festival

The 27th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) continues to provide the opportunity for St. Louis filmgoers to view the finest in world cinema — international films, documentaries, American indies, and shorts that can only be seen on the big screen at the festival.The festival presents films that offer glimpses of the human experience from around the world which includes the Robert French and French-Language Focus film series.


Robert French and French-Language Focus Films 


French Films


The Apparition (L'apparition) by Xavier Giannoli (France)
Nov. 7 - 8:00pm | Nov. 9 - 3:30pm
Jacquesis a journalist at a large regional newspaper in France. His reputation as an impartial investigator attracts the attention of the Vatican, which recruits him to lead a committee to explore the legitimacy of a saintly apparition in a small French village — a true canonical investigation. English, French & Italian


Heaven Will Wait (Le Ciel attendra) by Marie-Castille Mention Schaar (France)
Nov. 5 - 4:20pm | Nov. 8 - 4:15pm
“Heaven Will Wait” tells the story of two young women tempted by radical Islam. At 17, born-again Muslim Sonia intends to leave her family to join ISIS in Syria. Screen praises “Heaven Will Wait” as an “emotive, worthwhile drama” that “successfully evokes the human heartbreak beneath the news headlines.” Part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. In French with subtitles

The Image Book (Le livre d'image) by Jean-Luc Godard (France)
Nov. 3  - 5:45pm 

A collage-like film essay, “The Image Book” both investigates the history of cinema and offers Godard’s characteristically barbed and cryptic commentary on the world. The Image Book” consists entirely of clips from documentaries, news reports, and some of the world’s greatest films, but Godard often uses those images to grapple with non-cinematic subjects both past and present, from Hiroshima and Auschwitz to the contemporary Arab world. In French with subtitles

Speak Up (A voix haute : La force de la parole) by Stépahne de Freitas & Ladj Ly (France)
Nov. 7  - 12:00pm 

Every year, hundreds of students from all over Seine-Saint-Denis face off in Eloquentia, a contest to crown the best orator in this wildly diverse, sprawling suburb of Paris. “Speak Up” follows a group of college students preparing for Eloquentia through an intensive six weeks of workshops in classical rhetoric, acting, slam poetry, and breathing techniques, then into the tournament itself. Part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.In French with subtitles


Memoir of War (La douleur) by Emmanuel Finkiel (France)
Nov. 2 - 12:00pm | Nov. 4 - 12:00pm
In Emmanuel Finkiel’s haunting adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical novel “The War: A Memoir,” the famed author of “The Lover,” “India Song,” and “Hiroshima Mon Amour” recounts an emotionally complex story of love, loss, and perseverance against a backdrop of wartime intrigue. In French with subtitles


Non-Fiction (Doubles Vies) by Olivier Assayas (France)
Nov. 10 - 6:00p
Set in the Parisian publishing world, this sophisticated comedy follows an assured editor (his successful actress wife, and an established author, all of whom are grappling with the disruptions of middle-age and the new media landscape. French with subtitles


A Paris Education (Mes provincials) by Jean-Paul Civeyrac​ (France)
Nov. 8 - 5:00pm | Nov. 11 - 8:20pm
Etienne, a serious and impressionable young cinephile, leaves behind his steady girlfriend in Lyon to study film in Paris. Settling into a dingy flat with a rotating cast of roommates, he immerses himself in a bohemian world of artists, intellectuals, and fellow film geeks who excitedly share their passion for Bresson, Ford, and obscure Russian directors. In French with subtitles


Promise at Dawn (La Promesse de l'aube) by Eric Barbier (France)
Nov. 7 - 5:30pm | Nov. 11 - 2:30pm
“Promise at Dawn” tells the wildly romantic story of Romain Gary, one of France’s most famous novelists and the sole writer to have won the Goncourt Prize for French literature two times. In French with subtitles.


The Sower (Le semeur) by Marine Francen (Belgium/France)
Nov. 2 - 4:30pm | Nov. 6 - 4:30pm
Based on Violette Ailhaud’s autobiographical “The Seed Man”, The Sower” centers on Violette who’s just old enough to get married when her village in the Lower Alps is deprived of all its men by a repression. The women swear an oath that if a man should come, he will become their shared husband, so that life may continue to flourish in each of their wombs. In French with subtitles.


    Transit by Christian Petzold (France/Germany)
    Nov. 8 - 2:15pm | Nov. 11 - 3:00pm
    In Christian Petzold’s brilliant and haunting modern-day adaptation of the 1942 novel “Transit Visa,” German refugee Georg  flees to Marseille, assuming the identity of a recently deceased writer whose papers he is carrying. There he delves into the delicate and complex culture of the refugee community. In French, French Sign Language and German.


    Zombillenium by Arthur de Pins & Alexis Ducord (France)
    Nov. 4 - 5:00pm

    Based on celebrated French cartoonist Arthur de Pins’ graphic novels, “Zombillenium” is set in an amusement park like no other: Only genuine werewolves, vampires, and zombies are employed there — for eternity. In French with subtitles


    The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le grand méchant renard et autres contes) by Patrick Imkert & Benjamin Renner (France)
    Nov. 11 - 11:00am

    This free film from the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated “Ernest & Celestine” comes another hilarious, heartwarming tale of animal misfits destined to become a classic. The animals on this farm are particularly agitated: a fox who mothers a family of chicks, a rabbit who plays the stork, and a duck who wants to be Santa Claus. 


    Films Co-Produced by France


    Double Bill: I, Douglas Fairbanks and The Half Breed (France/USA)
    Nov. 10 - 7:00pm
    “I, Douglas Fairbanks” deftly combines film clips and newsreel footage to tell the fascinating story of both Fairbanks and early Hollywood. French producer Martine Melloul participates in a Q&A. The documentary screens with the newly restored silent “The Half Breed.”  Fairbanks starred in this Western melodrama written by Anita Loos and directed with flair by Allan Dwan. St. Louis’ Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra returns to SLIFF with an original score and live accompaniment.


    The Hello Girls: The Story of America's First Female Soldiers by James William Theres (France/US)
    Nov. 11 - 1:00pm
    In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators to help win the Great War. Told through 100-year-old letters, photos, rare archival footage, the only known audio of a real Hello Girl, and interviews with family and historians, "The Hello Girls" brings to life an unfairly forgotten story of American heroism.


    I, Douglas Fairbanks by Clara Kuperberg & Julia Kuperberg (France/US)
    Nov. 10 - 7:00pm 
    During the peak of the silent era, the dashing Douglas Fairbanks was the first “King of Hollywood,” ruling the box office in a series of epic adventures — swashbuckling in “The Mark of Zorro,” dueling in “Robin Hood,” and soaring in “The Thief of Bagdad.” His physical skills and exuberant style made him the perfect American icon.


    MFKZ (Muta Fukaz) by Shoujirou Nishimi & Guillaume Renard​ (France) 
    Nov. 7 - 7:15pm
    The film centers on young Angelino and his skull-and-flame pal Vinz, who live in a seedy tenement in an LA-inspired dystopian metropolis. Following a scooter accident, Angelino starts experiencing migraines and strange hallucinations, as well as fits of rage-inspired superpowers, as he slowly awakens to the truth of his origins: He is half-human and half-Macho, a supernatural alien race that is bent on taking over the planet. 


    Narrative Shorts : Animation 1 (US/France/Netherlands/Argentina/UK/Ireland/Hungary/Iran)
    Nov. 2 - 9:40pm

    This animated selection features 17 short films from a variety of countries and in a variety of languages. The selection will warm your heart and blow your mind.


    Narrative Shorts : Animation 2 (Portugal/Netherlands/Israel/Mexico/Brazil/France/Russia/US/Germany/Japan/Taiwan)
    Nov. 4 - 9:15pm

    Featuring 12 short films, this selection is an animated sampler with a specific focus on international creations.


    Narrative Shorts : Baring it All (US/Italy/UK/France/Russia/Israel)
    Available through AMC Theater (Virtual Reality)
    The nine short films featured in this selection expose both literally and figuratively, tenderness and vulnerability seldom seen onscreen.


    Narrative Shorts : Comedy (US/Taiwan/France/Canada/New Zealand/Australia)
    Nov. 5 - 7:30pm

    Laughter is the universal language in this collection of comedies from around the globe.


    Narrative Shorts : Dark Comedy (UK/Netherlands/US/France/Germany/Ecuador/Spain/Canada)
    Nov. 11 - 9:00pm
    A selection of dark and demented - but also funny - films. 


    Narrative Shorts : Experimental (Japan/France/Italy/UK/Spain/US/Germany/Croatia/Switzerland)
    Nov. 6 - 9:15pm
    Take a walk on the wild side in this program of mind-bending shorts.


    Narrative Shorts : Fantasy (France/UK/Netherlands/Spain/Iran/US)
    Nov. 8 - 9:15pm
    A compendium of classic yarns and modern parables.


    Narrative Shorts : Music & Musicals (US/France/Netherlands)
    Oct 12 - 8:15pm | Oct 14 - 8:15pm
    Music plays an integral part in this collection of note-perfect shorts.


    Point of No Return by Noel Dockstader & Quinn Kanaly (China/Egypt/India/Japan/Myanmar/Oman/Spain/US/United Arab Emirates)
    Nov. 8 - 7:00pm
    "
    Point of No Return” chronicles one of the most suspenseful and pioneering scientific adventure stories of the 21st century, following two pilots in their attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane fueled exclusively by sunlight. 


    SLIFF/Kids Family Shorts 1 (Australia/France/UK/China/US/Agentina)
    Nov. 3 - 11:00am

    This free program of 13 short films is geared toward kids ages 3-8.


    SLIFF/Kids Family Shorts 2 (UK/US/France/Iran/Canada)
    Nov. 4 - 3:00pm

    This free program of 11 short films is geared toward kids ages 8-12.


    For a complete list of films, visit the St. Louis International Film Festival lineup

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