Adelaide Film Festival 2022: 7 multilingual films from France and the Francophonie

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The program for Adelaide Film Festival 2022 was announced on Monday night. 2022 sees the festival become a yearly event. Across two articles, we’re sharing with you films from France and the Francophonie that are and aren’t in French.  This time, we’re letting you know about multilingual films where French is one of the languages.

Adelaide Film Festival 2022

AEIOU – A Quick Alphabet of Love

Director: Nicolette Krebitz

Country: Germany, France

Languages: French, German

“A whimsical romantic drama championing female desire” (Screen Daily)


As fading actress Anna nears sixty and finds job offers and her sexual desires dwindling, she is mugged by a teenager outside a Berlin bar. She encounters the young man, Adrian, once again as a student in a speech class she has taken on to pay the bills. Gently and sweetly, an unlikely romance blooms between the misfit pair as they begin to mend their fractured souls and plan an escape to the French Riviera. Charmingly offbeat, presented without judgment and featuring sparkling performances, Nicolette Krebitz delivers a unique lesson in human drama.



Director: Lukas Dhont

Country: Belgium, France, Netherlands

Languages: Dutch, French

Close is a film about friendship and connection. 13-year-olds Leo and Remy have grown up together in the vibrant Belgian countryside, spending summer riding bikes and playing games of pretend. It is an idyll too good to last. When high school starts, their closeness marks them out from their peers, and Leo’s attempts to distance himself have far-reaching consequences. Lukas Dhont’s study of boys’ loss of tenderness, and his understated treatment of guilt and grief made this the most controversial film at Cannes, though everyone agrees on its undoubted emotional affect.


Dream on Léon (SHORT FILM)

Director: Roger Gariépy

Country: Canada

Language: French

Léon is old, his body is letting him down. And so he sleeps. Yet above all, Léon dreams. Of love and sausages, of freedom and running wild. A real dog’s life.


No dogs or Italians allowed

Director: Alain Ugetto

Countries: France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal

Languages: French, Italian

Happy are those who have bread and polenta.

But really, if you’re Italian, you must see this. Animator Alain Ughetto provides a love letter to his grandparents, peasants from the Piedmont region, where there is too much war, too many children, and not enough food. The only option is to emigrate, and France is hungry for labourers who will do whatever it takes to put polenta in the pot. Ughetto’s charming animation provides houses made from cardboard and forests of broccoli. The effect is quietly magical in this love letter to all families forced into exile to survive.



Return to Seoul

Director: Davy Chou

Country: France, Germany, Belgium

Languages: English, French, Korean

“…strange, deep, changeable and wise” (Variety)


Freddie knows nothing of Korea because she was adopted as a baby and taken to France. She returns on a whim, but doesn’t understand the language, the etiquette of soju drinking, and the incomprehensible men. The search for her biological parents leads her to internalise the gulf between cultures. Debut actress Park Ji-min won plaudits at Cannes for her extraordinary performance. Cambodian director Davy Chou—himself raised in France—explores the costs of living in exile in this slow-burning though often exuberant examination of rebellion and despair born of rootlessness.


The Blue Caftan

Director: Maryam Touzani

Country: Morocco, France, Belgium, Denmark

Language: Arabic, French

A satin textured tale of forbidden relationships.


The Blue Caftan is a delicate, humane three-hander where the characters are filled with empathy and complexity. Director Maryam Touzani is an expert at conveying intimacy, each shot unfolding with an almost tactile beauty. From the narrow streets of a romantic but repressive Morocco emerges this lovingly handcrafted love triangle. Master tailor and closeted gay man Halim runs a struggling business with wife Mina. When the couple hire a handsome assistant, the two men begin to weave a tender relationship. However, as Mina battles cancer, she and Halim strengthen a bond tied by years of understanding.



Director: Moussa Sene Absa

Country: Senegal

Languages: French, Wolof

An African tale told by griots.


15-year-old Awa and Adama are twins: they share the same angels, angels who do not always have their best interests at heart. Adama dreams of escaping to Europe, while Awa tries to balance school, work, and attention of men. Senegal’s Moussa Sène Absa blends tragedy with the Senegalese traditions of griots (storyteller/singers) and vibrant West African colour and music to bring alive the dilemmas of African youth, caught between family and modernity. The exciting stylisation of his storytelling provides a distinctive means of showing African cinema rising to the challenges of today.



WHAT: Adelaide Film Festival 2022

WHERE: Various cinemas across Adelaide including Palace Nova East End and Prospect, Mitcham Wallis, Odeon Star Semaphore, The Capri Goodwood, and Her Majesty’s Theatre

WHEN: 19 – 30 October 2022

HOW: Purchase your ticket/passes via the official website

HOW MUCH: There are various ticket options available from single tickets, to passes for 3, 7 or 10 films or the Gold Pass and Platinum Pass for those who want to attend every single screening!

Prices (exclusive of booking fees) are as follows:

  • Individual film sessions $20 or $17 for Concession/Industry
  • Opening Night – Film and Party $109/ $99 for AFF members
  • Gala screenings $49/$45 for Concession/Industry
  • Multipass 3 (standard screenings): $50/$43
  • Multipass 7 (standard screenings): $99/$85 Concession/Industry
  • Multipass 10 (standard screenings): $120/$99 Concession/Industry
  • Gold Pass (1 ticket to all standard screenings): $299/$255 for Concession/Industry
  • Platinum Pass (1 ticket to all standard sceenings including opening night, closing night and galas. Party invitations. Special Events. Concierge service and AFF Lanyard): $599/$525 Concession/Industry


Which films do you want to see at Adelaide Film Festival 2022?



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One last chance to see The Passengers of the Night at MIFF tonight

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Passengers of the Night (Les Passagers de la Nuit) is a film from Mikhaël Hers. It’s been doing the film festival circuits and is currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival (as well as streaming on its online platform MIFF Play). It also screened at the Sydney Film Festival recently.

The Passengers of the Night

The Passengers of the Night takes place over 3 distinct years: starting in 1981 on the night of Mitterand’s election win, moving later to 1984 and then later again to 1988.


The film starts on the night of Francois Mitterand’s 1981 election win with people celebrating in the streets of Paris. We see a young girl with a rucksack on her back alone in the metro station as trains fly by. We also see Charlotte Gainsbourg driving a car with her teenaged son, Matthias played by Quito Rayon-Richter (who has also been in Dark Hart of the Forest (Le Coeur noir des forets), and daughter Judith played by Megan Northam, through the celebratory crowds. Back at their apartment, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character Élisabeth listens to the late-night radio as she looks out the window at the surrounding large apartment and office buildings. The radio host welcomes her “passagers de la nuit” (passengers of the night).


We then skip ahead to 1984 where we see two boys racing each other on their bikes. One is Élisabeth’s son, Matthias who has been more and more absent at school even when he is there. Élisabeth is struggling financially, telling her Dad she needs to find a job. He unhelpfully tells her “you’ve never had one”. The odds are seemingly against this single mother whose ex has run off to move in with his mistress.

Vanda and Élisabeth Les Passagers de la nuit
Vanda and Élisabeth


It is here that Vanda (played by Emmanuelle Béart), host of the same late-night radio show that Élisabeth was listening to 3 years earlier, comes in. After reading her heart-felt and frank letter, Vanda gives Élisabeth a chance offering her a trial job fielding people on the phone line who will share their stories on air. In turn, Élisabeth offers Talulah played by Noée Abita (who was nominated for the Most Promising Actress César for the AFFFF 20222 film Slalom), a teenager living on the streets of Paris (the same girl we saw in the metro station in the opening scene) a place to stay.


While at first Élisabeth’s teenaged children are sceptical about their mother taking this girl in – wondering how she could even know such a person – they soon begin to form a bond with Talulah and take her under their wings. The scene where Matthias and his friend encounter Talulah for the first time is particularly amusing. But Talulah’s issues start to creep up, and this sudden closeness feel uncomfortable for her. She feels lost, telling Élisabeth “j’appartiens à nulle part” (I don’t belong anywhere), and suddenly, from night to morning Talulah disappears.

Matthias and Talulah


The Passengers of the Night is interspersed with archival footage of late 70s and early 80s Paris, with images of the former metro trains. These images can be distinguished by the frame change as well as their grainy quality. Combined with the soundtrack perfectly curated to the 80s, we are transported to 80s Paris.


Charlotte Gainsbourg is impressive as struggling single mother, breast cancer survivor Élisabeth. Equally impressive is Noée Abita as Talulah. Seeing her in this role makes us want to see her other films. Quito Rayon-Richter as the distracted, hormone-driven Matthias is also worthy of mention. Megan Northam doesn’t appear on screen as much as her brother’s character but we would also like to see more of her.


Perhaps at its core, The Passengers of the Night is about giving people a chance. A film showing the reality of life as a single mother with teenaged kids; those same young adults also learn to give Talulah a chance, just as their mother did.


Matilda Marseillaise watched a digital screener of The Passengers of the Night (Les Passagers de la Nuit) for the purposes of this review.


There is one screening of The Passengers of the Night remaining: tonight at 6:30pm. It is also available to rent digitally via the MIFF Play platform. Access for both the in cinema screening and the digital rental via this link.



MIFF Play – films in French

No dogs or Italians allowed review



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