MIFF Play 2022 – 8 films in French to stream online anywhere in Australia

Reading Time: 6 minutes

You don’t have to be in Melbourne to enjoy the Melbourne International Film Festival because there’s MIFF Play 2022 where a number of films are made available to stream (for a fee) online during the festival.

MIFF Play 2022

 

FREE TO RENT: SHORT FILM: Goodbye Jérôme! Au Revoir Jérôme!

Directors: Adam Sillard, Chloé Farr, Gabrielle Selnet

Origin: France (2021)

MIFF Shorts | Short

Language: French with English subtitles

Genre: Animation

In this funny, funky and surreal hand-drawn animation, Jérôme arrives in heaven in search of his late wife. Taking inspiration from their own romantic breakups, French co-directors Gabrielle Selnet, Adam Sillard and Chloé Farr craft a surreal and bittersweetly funny hand-drawn tale about a man who arrives in the afterlife, where he re-meets his dearly departed wife. But things are not how they were. Goodbye Jérôme won the International Jury Award for Best Short Film in the Berlinale’s Generation 14Plus section.

 

Jane by Charlotte Jane par Charlotte

Director: Charlotte Gainsbourg

Origin: France (2021)

Documentaries, Music on Film | Feature

Language: French with English subtitles

Genre: Documentary, Music

Charlotte Gainsbourg makes her directorial debut with this quietly revelatory portrait of her mother, Jane Birkin, offering tender insights into their relationship.

 

Gainsbourg (Jacky in the Kingdom of Women, MIFF 2014; Melancholia, MIFF 2011) remains a darling of the contemporary arthouse circuit, while Birkin – a celebrated singer, actor and fashion icon – has herself directed a documentary about her husband Serge Gainsbourg (Souvenirs of Serge, MIFF 2012) and been the subject of a film, Agnès Varda’s Jane B. par Agnès V. (1988). Now, the younger Gainsbourg follows in Birkin’s footsteps, trailing her mother on tour from Japan to New York, and from her Brittany coastal retreat to the Paris apartment they once shared with Serge, which has lain untouched since his death in 1991.

 

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Origin: Chad (2021)

Africa & Middle East, International | Feature

Language: French with English subtitles

Genre: Drama , Social Justice

Viewer Advice: Contains high-impact violence and high-impact sexual themes.

In Chad, where religion rules with an iron fist, a teenage girl seeks to end her pregnancy.

 

Amina, a single mother in a conservative village, lives a hand-to-mouth existence with her daughter, Maria. When the 15-year-old reveals that she is pregnant and wants to have an abortion, Amina is initially caught between her Muslim faith and her desire to spare her child from enduring the experiences she herself suffered as a socially ostracised teenage mother. But if the latter is to be achieved, the funds must be raised – and Amina will have to call on the aid of a secret network of women.

 

Nelly & Nadine

Director: Magnus Gertten

Origin: Sweden (2022)

Documentaries | Feature

Language: English, French, Spanish, Swedish with English subtitles

Genre: Documentary , LGBTQIA+

Winner of the Berlinale’s Teddy Jury Award, this is the astonishing true story of two women who survived the horrors of WWII and smashed social taboos to pursue their love.

 

Nelly Mousset-Vos met Nadine Hwang on Christmas Eve 1944 in the most horrifying of places: the Nazi concentration camp for women, Ravensbrück. Instantly enamoured, the pair were later separated; after the war, they reunited and spent the rest of their lives together in Venezuela, their relationship hidden in plain sight. The truth is unearthed when Nelly’s granddaughter Sylvie finally opens a box in the attic – a treasure trove of history and a compelling personal record of bravery and romance.

 

Neptune Frost

Directors: Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams

Origin: Rwanda, USA (2021)

Bright Horizons | Feature

Language: English, French, Kinyarwanda, Swahili with English subtitles

Genre: Sci-Fi

A wildly ambitious, radically experimental Afrofuturist musical that transcends space, time and gender from visionary poet and musician Saul Williams.

 

Ten years in the making, this dazzlingly original, genre-defying debut from Williams and actor and playwright Anisia Uzeyman builds on the musician’s lyrical world-building and exploration of Black resistance while following in the Afrofuturist tradition of Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place and Ngozi Onwurah’s Welcome II the Terrordome. In a past, present and future Rwanda that unfolds like a dream, a young coltan miner encounters Neptune Frost, an intersex hacker who leads us down a trans-dimensional rabbit hole of post-colonial possible realities.

 

The Passengers of the Night Les passagers de la nuit

Director: Mikhäel Hers

Origin: France (2022)

Europe, International | Feature

Language: French with English subtitles

Genre: Drama

Charlotte Gainsbourg is the essence of Gallic cool in this moody, insouciant film from French dramatist Mikhaël Hers (Amanda).

 

In 1981, even as Paris explodes with optimism at the election of socialist candidate François Mitterand as president, Elisabeth (Gainsbourg, Jacky in the Kingdom of Women, MIFF 2014; Melancholia, MIFF 2011) is on the back foot: a cash-strapped, recently divorced cancer survivor who needs to provide for her two adolescent offspring. Beginning from this point of considerable conflict, Hers instead unfurls a nostalgic and quietly uplifting narrative that – following the entry of a wayward teen into the family’s lives – traces Elisabeth’s years-long journey of self-rediscovery.

 

Rewind & Play

Director: Alain Gomis

Origin: France, Germany (2022)

Documentaries, MIFF Play, Music on Film | Feature

Language: English, French with English subtitles

Genre: Documentary , Experimental , Music

Thelonious Monk broke the jazz mould. Here’s what happened when a French TV show tried to stuff him back into it.

 

On 15 December 1969, at the tail end of his European tour, legendary pianist Thelonious Monk spent two-and-a-half hours sweating on a Parisian studio stage under intense lights, filming a 30-minute episode of the French TV series Jazz Portrait. Miraculously, all the footage has survived – and now, French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis has intelligently assembled it into an uneasy, impressionistic collage that hums with postcolonial subtext.

 

Director Alain Gomis reveals Monk as a gentle man being provoked to his limits of politeness as dominating host Henri Renaud talks over and around his guest, sometimes resorting to unkind stereotype. Only when Monk is free to roam the keys does he elude the camera’s pitiless gaze and show why his talent was so special.

 

BONUS FILM: From France but not in French 

SHORT FILM: Tsutsué

Director: Amartei Armar

Origin: France, Ghana (2022)

International Shorts 1, MIFF Shorts | Short

Language: Ga with English subtitles

Genre: Drama

A moving story of two Ghanaian boys haunted by the loss of their older brother.

 

This compelling, Cannes-premiering short film from Ghanaian-American filmmaker Amartei Armar is set in a small Ghanaian town at the edge of a landfill site that spills into the ocean. A fisherman’s two sons, Sowah and Okai, are struggling to cope with the disappearance of their older brother following a boating expedition. Tsutsué is an affecting, powerful work propelled by amazing performances from its young leads.

 

We, Students! Nous, étudiants!

Director: Rafiki Fariala

Origin: Congo, France (2022)

Documentaries | Feature

Language: Sango, and French with English subtitles

Genre: Documentary

Viewer Advice: Contains depictions of violence towards animals and themes of sexual violence.

An extremely rare look at university life in the Central African Republic as four students are thrown personal and emotional curveballs on their path to a better future.

 

Nestor, Aaron and Benjamin and Rafiki (the film’s director) are friends and students at the CAR’s University of Bangui. They’re trying their hardest to survive in a society that is seemingly tearing itself apart at the seams: around every corner lurk danger, corruption and sexual harassment, which they must navigate along with overcrowded classrooms, romantic entanglements, and worries about money and employment. But through it all shines their hope that, one day, they can set things right.

 

We, Students! is the first film from the Central African Republic to screen at the Berlinale, and only the second ever piece of cinema produced in the landlocked country. Amid unrest and economic turmoil across the nation – where cameras are unfamiliar sights (Rafiki was arrested three times during production) – it’s a miracle that this film exists at all.

 

KEY INFO FOR MIFF PLAY 2022

WHAT: MIFF Play 2022

WHERE: Wherever you are

WHEN: Films on MIFF Play 2022 are available to rent and stream from Friday 12 August, 2022 at 9:00 AM through to Sunday 28 August 2022 at 11:59PM AEST. As soon as you press play on the majority of films, you will have thirty-six (36) hours to complete your viewing. Please note: some films have limited and specific viewing windows, please check the film’s program page for more info.

HOW: Purchase your rental access via the film links above.

HOW MUCH: Feature films cost $15 to rent on MIFF Play 2022.

 

Which films are you going to watch on MIFF Play 2022? 

 

OTHER MIFF CONTENT

No dogs or Italians allowed is showing at MIFF 2022

MIFF 2022 – 18 multilingual films to see

Melbourne International Film Festival 2022: 25 Films in French

 

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REVIEW: One year, one night is a moving depiction of a couple’s fight to survive after the Bataclan attacks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One year, one night (Un Año, Una Noche) is a film from Spanish director Isaki Lacuesta making its Australian debut at the Sydney Film Festival today. The film depicts the life of a bi-national couple French Céline (Noémie Merlant (who was also in Paris, 13th district that we reviewed ahead of the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2022)) and Spanish Ramón (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) living in Paris after surviving the shootings at the Bataclan concert hall in November 2015. It is based on the book Peace, Love and Death Metal written by Bataclan attack survivor Ramón Gonzalez.

One year, one night

One year, one night jolts us between current day and memories of the night of the shootings at the Bataclan just as the characters themselves are constantly jolted and reminded of what happened, and what they survived that night. They each deal with the aftermath of the attacks with polar differences – Céline hasn’t even told her parents, her work colleagues, anyone that she was there that night. Ramón struggles to get back to work and finds himself reliving the night every waking moment. Céline wants to forget and cuts short any conversation among the group of friends that were there with her that night. Ramón becomes obsessed with every single detail and reads every news story. For him, not remembering a detail will lead to catastrophic consequences.

 

Noémie Merlant and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart give impressive, convincing performances which would have demanded a lot of their emotions. We truly believed we were watching a couple trying to survive and return to their normal lives after they were inexplicably, in a single moment, upturned.

The cinematography is also worthy of mention with some beautifully shot scenes – such as a bathroom scene with the couple having a conversation on either side of the heavily frosted door. The soundtrack is comprised of original songs which have a rock feel – much like the band Eagles of Death Metal that the couple had gone to see at the Bataclan that fateful night.

 

The only shortcoming in One year, one night is that the timeline was not true to the way events unfolded. In the film, we have the night of November 2015 Bataclan attacks, later followed by the truck attacks in Nice and later still the Eagles of Death Metal returning to the Bataclan. Those two last events were in reality reversed. The second concert was in February 2016 and the Nice truck attacks on Bastille Day in July 2016. Fortunately, knowing this doesn’t significantly alter the experience of watching film.

 

One year, one night is a beautiful film depicting the realities of trauma following a life-changing attack like that of November 2015 in Paris. Noémie Merlant and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart are actors to watch and I will look for director Isaki Lacuesta’s future releases with interest.

3.5 CROISSANTS

 

KEY INFO FOR ONE YEAR, ONE NIGHT

WHAT: One year, one night, a film showing at Sydney Film Festival 2022

WHERE & WHEN:

Fri 10 Jun 6pm Hayden Orpheum Cremorne – Cinema 5

Sat 11 Jun 8:30pm Ritz Randwick – Cinema 5

Wed 15 Jun 8:15pm Dendy Newtown – Cinema 3

HOW: Purchase your tickets to One year, one night via this link: https://www.sff.org.au/program/browse/one-year-one-night

 

OTHER SFF CONTENT

Sydney Film Festival 2022: French language films

SFF 2022: 12 multilingual films including French

SFF 2022: 14 films from multiple countries including France (that aren’t in French)

REVIEW: Bootlegger puts socio-political issues in a Canadian first nations reserve at the forefront

 

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