A very funny, tongue-in-cheek adventure film showing at AFFFF 2023 is Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde. An unlikely team set out on an adventure to the island of Val Verde at the behest of Aurélie, the beautiful daughter of an archaeologist father who went on a solo mission to the island decades earlier and never returned.
The film was co-directed by both Ludovic Colbeau-Justin (who also directed Rumba Therapy from last year’s festival) and Malik Bentalha (who also played the titular character in the film). Malik Bentalha is also one of three screenwriters on Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde – the others being Tristan Schulmann and Florent Bernard. The script contains some very witty one liners and some absurdist comedy which French cinema is well known for.
Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde has a small but wonderful cast. Many will be familiar to you having appeared in AFFFF films in this or recent years’ programs. Malik Bentalha (Employee of the Month, AFFFF 2022) plays Jack Mimoun, a TV adventurer known as the Survivor of Hell after he was believed to have survived 3 months alone on Val Verde. Joséphine Japy plays Aurélie, the beautiful daughter of an archaeologist father who went on a solo mission to Val Verde and never returned. She tricks Jack Mimoun into going with her to the island to try to find the treasure her father had gone there for.
Jérôme Commandeur (who was also in Employee of the Month, AFFFF 2022 plays Jack Mimoun’s manager, Bruno Quézac. He is even less equipped for adventure than Jack and is keen to get off the island ASAP. Transporting them, and potentially leaving them stranded on the dangerous island of Val Verde is the unpredictable, ex-military, gun toting, conspiracy theorist Jean-Marc (played by François Damiens, who was in Love Song for Tough Guys at AFFFF 2022 and Just to be Sure which was released a few years ago). Benoît Magimel (also in Paris Memories at ths year’s AFFFF) plays Jonas, archaeology lecturer and the assistant who worked with Aurélie’s father before his fateful trip to Val Verde.
A majority of the comedy in the film forms out of the personalities of each of the characters. Jack for example is all ego and his cluelessness makes for some funny moments. Bruno’s freaking out and wanting to get off the island juxtaposed with Jean-Marc’s don’t talk rubbish or I’ll shoot, or even if you don’t talk rubbish, I still might shoot attitude is great as is the impression he gives us that while he may have survived the 6 wars he claims to have been in, he may well have suffered significant brain impairment in them if he was in them at all. Of all these supposedly brave men, it seems that Aurélie is the most fearless!
Beautifully filmed on location in Thailand, Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde transports audiences to the lush wild greenery of the jungle with beautiful waterfalls and stunning caves along the way. If this film could be described in a colour it would be green.
Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde is a fun film which is well worth seeing for a laugh at the adventure genre with its over the top commentary and its “daring” stunts. Imagine seeing your TV/ film adventurer being revealed as a fraud but then being thrown into a real life or death situation all because they’re trying to impress a girl and you might get close to Jack Mimoun.
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023.
To find out when Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde is showing in your city at the AFFFF 2023, click here
KEY INFO FOR AFFFF 2023
WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 (AFFFF 2023) – the 34th edition of the largest celebration of French film outside of France!
WHERE & WHEN:
Sydney, NSW: 7th March to 5th April – Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton St, Chauvel Cinema, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
Melbourne, VIC: 8th March to 5th April – Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Astor Theatre, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema
Perth, WA: 8th March to 5th April – Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema, Palace Raine Square, Camelot Outdoor Cinema
Canberra, ACT: 9th March to 5th April – Palace Electric Cinema
Hobart, TAS: 9th to 19th March – State Cinema
Brisbane, QLD: 15th March to 12th April – Palace James Street, Palace Barracks
Byron Bay, NSW: 16th March to 5th April – Palace Byron Bay
Adelaide, SA: 23rd March to 19th April – Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Port Pirie, Renmark, Whyalla, Mount Gambier: 24th March to 26th March – Northern Festival, Chaffey Theatre, Middleback Arts Centre, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre
Gold Coast, QLD: 29th March to 16th April – Dendy Southport
Parramatta, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April – Riverside Theatre Parramatta
Victor Harbour, SA: 3rd and 10th April – Victa Cinema
Bendigo, VIC: 21st to 23rd April – Star Cinema
HOW: The full program of 39 films can be viewed at the official Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 website via this link: https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/
HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary between cities and there are also discounted festival passes available if you want to see several films. (NB You will need to pick the films and sessions when purchasing the pass)
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