The Braves is another film showing at the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2022. Director Anaïs Volpé’s feature debut revolves about the lives of two young women who are best friends, Margot (Souheila Yacoub, you may remember her from Savages AF FFF20) and Alma ((Déborah Lukumuena, Invisibles, AF FFF20). Both chase their dreams of becoming theatre actors in Paris’ competitive acting world. Yet soon that becomes the smallest of their concerns and they find themselves in the challenging roles of life and its twists and turns and cruelty.
The Braves opens with a memorable scene in which the girls fight physically – we soon learn that this is in fact a tactic to get a theatre director’s attention. The women are auditioning for the same role, which must be testing to a friendship in and of itself. Little do they know that they are about to be in for the fight of their lives.
While the film treats a serious subject, its first few scenes paint the picture of the fun of the girls’ friendship: from punching each over in the face to get a director’s attention at a group audition, to a very fun revenge prank played on an ex-boyfriend and staying out all night long (the “nuit blanche”). In the background of the more serious events to come, is the play about migration to New York. Certain scenes are repeated over and over and the line about trying not to drown on the way (in reference to the boat travel there) takes on more importance with these two young girls trying to keep their heads above water as they face a battle unlike any other that they’ve known.
The relatively unknown actresses in the main roles gave strong performances. Some star power was found in Alma’s mother, Amina played by Angélique Kidjo. Scenes where we see Margot walking down the street remind you that you are watching someone filming The Braves. Their slightly shaky quality comes courtesy of American cinematographer Sean Price Williams’ hand-held camera work.
We struggled a little with some implausibility in the script. For example, after the audition at the beginning of the film, Margot shows up late to her café job, again and you find yourself wondering whether there are shortages of hospitality staff in France as there as in Australia, because surely no employer would keep someone on! The other, is difficult to discuss without revealing too much, but raises ethical questions about information provided or in this case, withheld from, adults.
I wish that movie marketers would keep the essence of the original language titles. The Braves might be an appropriate title for the film, but the French title “Entre les vagues” (between the waves) is said by one of the characters during the film which gives you a moment of “ah that’s why it’s called that”, which you miss with the English language title and it steals that moment of recognition.
The Braves is an important film about the lengths of friendship in adversity and a chance to see some impressive actresses you may not have seen before.
Matilda Marseillaise received access to a digital screener to watch this film
To see when The Braves is screening in your city, click on this link https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/film/the-braves/ and select your city from the bottom right of the page.
READ OUR REVIEWS OF OTHER FILMS AT THE ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
KEY INFO FOR ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2022
WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival
WHERE AND WHEN:
- Adelaide: 24thMarch to 24th April (Encore screenings: 25th to 26th April)
- Brisbane: 16thMarch to 13th April (Encore screenings: 14th to 18th April)
- Byron Bay: 30thMarch to 14th April (Encore screenings: 15th to 16th April)
- Hobart: 9thto 20th March
- Canberra: 2nd March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Melbourne: 3rd March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Parramatta: 7thto 10th April
- Perth: 9th March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Sydney: 1stMarch to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
HOW: Discover the AFFFF 2022 programme here.