French Film Festival

HPU Cinémathèque French Film Festival


The Department of Arts, Humanities, and Languages of the College of Liberal Arts, with a grant from the FACE Foundation, is pleased to present their fourth French Film Festival.  Albertine Cinémathèque is a program of the FACE Foundation, which brings French cinema to American college and university campuses.  This year’s program will be in person. Six films will be introduced and shown on the downtown campus on Friday evenings in Spring 2024.   


casablanca Beats                   January 26, 4 P.M.            Location:  WP 6 323

Director Nabil Ayouch (RazziaHorses of God) drew on his own experience opening a youth cultural center in Casablanca for this story of a former rapper named Anas who takes a job teaching hip hop in an underprivileged neighborhood. Despite differences in identity, religion, and politics, Anas encourages his students to bond together and break free from the weight of restrictive traditions in order to follow their passion and express themselves through the arts. Featuring a dynamic ensemble of first-time actors, many of them students of the real-life cultural center where the film was shot, Casablanca Beats is a vibrant and inspiring coming-of-age hip hop musical with a decidedly feminist edge. Mixing intimate yet high stakes drama with infectious musical sequences, the film transports audiences to a lively and contemporary Casablanca, far from the clichés about the Arab world. Morocco’s official submission to the 94th Academy Awards® offers a refreshing dose of youthful inspiration alongside a powerful message about the liberating power of self-expression.


gagarine                                          FEBRUARY 2, 4 P.M.                         Location: WP 6-323 

Youri, 16, has lived all his life in Gagarine Cité, a vast red brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris. From the heights of his apartment, he dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when plans to demolish his community’s home are leaked,Youri joins the resistance. With his friends Diana and Houssam, he embarks on a mission to save  Gagarine,transformingt he estate into his own “starship”–before it disappears into space forever.The film was shot on the cusp of the actual demolition of the Cité Gagarine housing project in collaboration with its residents in Ivry-sur-Seine.


revoir Paris                                 FEBRUARY 9, 4 P.M.                                     Location: WP6-323    

After an idyllic date night full of red wine and a late-night motorcycle ride home, Mia (Virginie Efira) stops at a Parisian bistro to take shelter from a down pour. Her reprieve is shattered when a gun man opens fire. Three months later, with a frustratingly hazy memory of the attack, Mia finds herself numbed and unable to resume her life. Her friends and partner seek something from her that she can no longer give. Determined to reconstruct the sequence of events and reestablish a sense of normalcy, Mia finds herself repeatedly returning to the bistro where the shooting happened. In the process, she forms bonds with fellow survivors, including wry banker Thomas (Benoît Magimel) and orphaned teenager Félicia (Nastya Golubeva). When she remembers that a stranger helped her make it through the attack, Mia resolves to find him, if only to make sure that he is alive. Revoir Paris is a moving meditation on grief, healing, and the importance of connections forged in tragedy.France, 1963. Anne is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so.

the discreeT charm of the bourgeoise                        FEBRARY 16, 4 p.m.                       Location: WP6-323

Rafael Acosta, Ambassador of the South American Republic of Miranda, arrives with M. and Mme. Thévenot and the latter’s younger sister Florence to dine at the home of M. and Mme Sénéchal (the three men enjoy a profitable association, smuggling heroin in the diplomatic pouch). Learning from Mme. Sénéchal that her husband is out and that theyhave arrived a day early, the party repair to a nearby restaurant but are deterred from eating the meal they have ordered by the corpse of the proprietor, laid out in the next room. Accepting a subsequent invitation from the Sénéchals (who have now acquired a workerbishop as gardener), they deduce from the absence of their hosts (who have actually justslipped out to make love on the grounds) that a police raid is imminent and speedily depart.  Their further attempts to eat together are equally abortive. The tearoom where the ladies meet has temporarily run out of all refreshments, while the Sénéchals’ next dinner party is interrupted during the hors d’oeuvre by the premature arrival of an army battalion for war games; the Colonel invites them all to dinner at his house the following week. The Colonel’s dinner, as M. Sénéchal dreams of it, is set on the stage of a theater above a jeering audience; in M. Thévenot’s sleep, it becomes a diplomatic reception at which the Ambassador, sensitive to political insult, shoots his host. At another lunch in the Sénéchals’ house, the group is arrested and jailed for dope smuggling. Released upon the intervention the Minister of the Interior, they assemble for yet another meal and reach the meat course before being machine-gunned by terrorists — upon which the Ambassador awakens with a start, then slips into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator. There is, however, reason to suppose our six charmingly discreet bourgeois will stride on towards yet another tantalizing repast.


Saint Omer                                 FEBRUARY 23, 4 P.m.                                                     Location: WP6-323

Saint Omer court of law. Young novelist Rama attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter by abandoning her to the rising tide on a beach in northern France. But as the trial continues, the words of the accused and witness testimonies will shake Rama’s convictions and call into question our own judgement..

Queen Margot                                                       MARCH 15, 4 P.M.                                  Location: WP6-323

France, 1572. During an uneasy break in the wars of religion, Catholic King Charles IX concludes a marriage of state between his sister Margot and the Protestant Huguenot King Henry of Navarre.  But Margot’s Queen Mother is already plotting the attack on the Huguenots that would come to be known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.  Chéreau’s high-octane adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel begins in fifth gear and never lets up. 


The HPU Cinémathèque Film Festival is made possible by Albertine Cinémathèque, a program of FACE Foundation and Villa Albertine, with support from the CNC / Centre National du Cinema, and SACEM / Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain.


Contact  Dr. Chadia Chambers-Samadi for more information

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