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Sep 28
Frédéric Yonnet at DC JazzFest 2400 East Capitole Street
Sep 30
Scholastique Mukasonga & Maaza Mengiste ONLINE EVENT Brookline Booksmith and City of Asylum Bookstore
Sep 30
Scholastique Mukasonga & Maaza Mengiste ONLINE EVENT Brookline Booksmith and City of Asylum Bookstore

32nd AFI European Union Film Showcase

For its 32nd edition, the AFI European Union Film Showcase will present some of Europe's most remarkable cinematographic works to Washington audiences. The showcase features international film festival award winners, European box office hits, and debut works by promising new talents, as well as many countries' official Oscar® submissions for Best Foreign Language Film. This year's selection of over 46 films includes seven French productions and co-productions.

On December 4, the opening night will notably feature the French movie Alice and the Mayor by Nicholas Pariser, starring Fabrice Luchini.

  • Alice and the Mayor [Alice et le Maire] by Nicholas Pariser

France/ Belgium, 2019, color, 94 min. In French with English subtitles.

After 30 years in politics, Paul Théraneau (Fabrice Luchini), the mayor of Lyon, has become a creature of habit: over-cautious, bureaucratic to a fault, and lacking the passion and ideas he once had. Enter Alice Heimann (Anaïs Demoustier), a recent Oxford grad with a degree in philosophy, newly hired for a job that, in the latest round of organizational shuffling, has been eliminated before it ever began. Inspired, for the first time in years, by his conversations with Alice, the mayor creates a new position for her before she can be slated for reassignment: to be his ideas person. The latest film from Nicolas Pariser will delight those who are interested in the thinking and practice of public policy and leadership, even as they despair at the reality of everyday politics as usual.

Winner of the Europa Cinemas Label Prize

Wed, Dec. 4, 7:15 p.m.;  Sun, Dec. 8, 3:15 p.m 

  • Deerskin [Le Daim] by Quentin Dupieux

France, 2019, color, 77 min. In French with English subtitles.

French disruptor Quentin Dupieux (the man behind killer-tire classic RUBBER) returns to the realm of the malevolent everyday object with this daring and hilarious tale of a troubled man (Jean Dujardin, THE ARTIST) who takes his obsession with his designer deerskin jacket (admittedly, a very nice coat) to murderous extremes. Having just separated from his wife, Georges (Dujardin) decides he needs a new lease on life, and a new jacket, and sets off to buy a vintage deerskin coat, which he gets for 8,000 euros, with a camcorder thrown in. Increasingly impressed with his jacket's majesty — and its excellent advice — Georges resolves to eliminate all other outerwear from the world. Meanwhile, he meets a bartender named Denise (Adèle Haenel, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE), accidently convinces her he's a filmmaker and enlists her to edit and fund his latest (non-existent) project. She becomes a fan of the jacket too, and none of this is going to end well.

 Official Selection, 2019 Cannes, Toronto, Vancouver and Chicago film festivals.

 Fri, Dec. 6, 7:10 p.m.; Sat, Dec. 7, 9:20 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 11, 9:40 p.m.

  • On a magical night [Chambre 212] by Christophe Honoré

France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2019, color, 86 min. In French with English subtitles.

In Christophe Honoré's delightful "Christmas Carol," Maria (Chiara Mastroianni) is a law professor with a good eye for handsome young men, and no qualms about pursuing them.  Richard (Benjamin Biolay), Maria's husband of 20 years, is less than keen on her extramarital interests, and when he discovers her latest infidelity, it's the last straw. Maria retreats to a hotel across the street where she can gaze down on her apartment and keep an eye on her pained husband.  But waiting for her in the room are the ghosts of affairs past — including a 25-year-old version of Richard (Vincent Lacoste) — ready to take her on a magical journey to reexamine the romances that were and those that could have been.

Winner, Best Actress (Chiara Mastroianni), Un Certain Regard, 2019 Cannes Film Festival; Official Selection, 2019 Busan and Chicago film festivals.

Sat, Dec. 7, 7:20 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 10, 5:15 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 12, 7:20 p.m.

  • Portrait of a lady on fire [Portrait de la jeune fille en feu] by Céline Sciamma

France, 2019, color, 119 min. In French and Italian with English subtitles.

Director Céline Sciamma won the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay awards at the Cannes Film Festival for this sweeping, brooding romance set in rugged, 18th-century Brittany. When budding painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned by an Italian Comtesse (Valeria Golino) to paint a portrait of soon-to-be-wed Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), her assignment is complicated by the fact that she must not disclose the reason for her visit to their remote coastal abode. Masquerading as a hired companion, Marianne must closely observe her subject by day, etching her likeness into memory in order to paint in secret by night. When the ruse is revealed, however, the women allow themselves to form a much closer bond, igniting a fire that will lead to self-discovery and the liaison of a lifetime.

Winner, Best Screenplay and Queer Palm, 2019 Cannes Film Festival; Official Selection, 2019 Telluride, Toronto, New York, London, Busan and Chicago film festivals.

Sun, Dec. 8, 8:15 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 9, 7:10 p.m. 

  • Les Misérables by Ladj Luy

France, 2019, color, 102 min. In French with English subtitles.

Ladj Ly's powerful Cannes Jury Prize winner made history in September when it became the first film by a black director selected to represent France at the Academy Awards®. Inspired by the riots which swept the Parisian banlieue in 2005, Ly's urgent, frenetic debut centers on three members of an anti-crime unit and their tense relationship with the community in the tough Montfermeil district, where they are charged with patrolling the neighborhood and keeping the peace. Stéphane (Damien Bonnard) has just joined the unit from a far sleepier beat in Cherbourg. Gwada (Djibril Zonga) is still learning the ropes, but grew up in Montfermeil and knows the area intimately. Chris (Alexis Manenti) is the cynical team leader, a hot-headed, streetwise taskmaster with questionable methods and even more dubious motives. When an arrest gets out of hand, which is caught on camera by a drone, the trio risks inflaming tensions beyond anything they can control.

2019 Oscar® Selection, France.

Winner, Jury Prize, 2019 Cannes Film Festival; Official Selection, 2019 Toronto, Busan and Chicago film festivals.

Tue, Dec. 10, 7:20 p.m.; Sat, Dec. 14, 1:00 p.m

  • Zombi Child by Bertrand Bonello

France, 2019, color, 103 min.  In English, French and Haitian with English subtitles.

Mixing zombie lore with mean-girl angst and a smart examination of France's colonial history, Bertrand Bonello (NOCTURAMA, SAINT LAURENT) expertly shifts between 1960s Haiti and contemporary France to meditate on the intricacies of race, class and cultural appropriation. In 1962 Haiti, a man is exhumed from his grave, brought back from the dead and forced to work on a sugar cane plantation. In present-day France, at an elite boarding school for descendants of Légion d'honneur recipients, rebellious teen Fanny (Louise Labèque) befriends Melissa, a new student who moved to France following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. When Melissa reveals an old family secret, Fanny becomes obsessed with her mysterious past and culture, seeking to use it to cure her recent heartbreak.

 Official Selection, 2019 Cannes, Toronto, New York and London film festivals.

Fri, Dec. 13, 9:45 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 19, 7:35 p.m.

  • The Truth [La vérité] by Hirokazu Kore-eda

France/Japan, 2019, color, 106 min. In English and French with English subtitles.

With her American husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) in tow, Lumir (Juliette Binoche) goes to visit her mother Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) in her beautiful country home to celebrate the release of Fabienne's memoir chronicling her lifelong career in front of the camera. Now in her twilight years, Fabienne is finally starting to show some vulnerability on the set of her latest film, but she's still butting heads with her daughter at home. Meanwhile, Hank, the TV actor who speaks no French, is just happy to be along for the ride. This mother-daughter comedy from Palme d'Or-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda starring two French screen icons is the perfect recipe for a good time.

Official Selection, 2019 Venice, Toronto Film and Busan film festivals.

Sat, Dec. 14, 8:30 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 19, 7:20 p.m.