Poster for A Taste of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema

A Taste of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema

Director: various Run Time: varies min.

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the celebrated annual festival presented by Film at Lincoln Center and UniFrance Films, returns virtually for its 26th edition with a lineup that demonstrates that the landscape of French cinema is as fertile, inspiring, and distinct as ever. The films on display, by emerging talents and established masters, raise ideas both topical and eternal, and many take audiences to entirely unexpected places. “A Taste of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema” is an opportunity for audiences across the U.S. to experience a curated selection of festival highlights, showcasing the best in contemporary French filmmaking. All films include virtual Q&As.

Faithful / De nos frères blessés

Hélier Cisterne, 2020, France, 96 minutes  – French and Arabic with English subtitles

Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) and Vincent Lacoste (Christophe Honoré’s Sorry Angel, NYFF56) bring a firebrand vitality to this 1950s-set true story of revolutionary conviction and romantic passion. Lacoste plays real-life communist dissident Fernand Iveton, who, on a brief trip to Paris for medical tests, falls in love with headstrong Hélène (Krieps), an escapee from an oppressive regime in Poland. Entranced by each other’s devotion to their principles, they marry and move to Algiers, where Fernand came of age among Marxist radicals. As the revolution explodes, Fernand throws himself into the Algerian resistance, while Hélène, aware of the suffering she witnessed before starting a new life, must reckon with just how much her husband is willing to sacrifice.

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My Donkey, My Lover, and I / Antoinette dans les Cévennes

Caroline Vignal, 2020, France, 95 minutes – French with English subtitles

Primary schoolteacher Antoinette (Laure Calamy, Sibyl, NYFF57) is elated about her upcoming vacation with her married lover, Vladimir, but life quickly intervenes: he cancels on her to take a hiking trip with his wife and young daughter, who’s one of Antoinette’s pupils. Fueled by impulse, Antoinette heads to the same mountainous region of Cévennes National Park with an itinerary inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. On her spur-of-the-moment mission, she forges quick bonds with an idealistic innkeeper (Marie Rivière, Rohmer’s The Green Ray) and Patrick, the cantankerous donkey she’s rented to help her up the mountain. In this Cannes 2020 selection, Caroline Vignal embraces the long and winding path over the final destination with much heart and humor.

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Red Soil / Rouge

Farid Bentoumi, 2020, France/Belgium, 90 minutes – French with English subtitles

César-winner Zita Hanrot (Fatima) delivers an extraordinary performance at the unflinching eye of this environmental thriller’s storm. When Hanrot’s Nour, a nurse, is put on probation after a fatal accident at her emergency room, she takes charge of the infirmary of the chemical factory where her father (Sami Bouajila, César-winner for André Téchiné’s The Witnesses) has worked for nearly 30 years. As she starts scheduling routine check-ups, Nour is struck by odd gaps in the records and a general skepticism from the workers. Her suspicions build when a reporter (Céline Sallette, House of Tolerance) raises concerns about undisclosed toxic waste dumps. With each harrowing revelation, Red Soil pulls apart a conspiracy at the damning intersection of pollution and globalist exploitation. A Cannes 2020 selection.

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Should the Wind Drop / Si le vent tombe

Nora Martirosyan, 2020, France/Armenia/Belgium, 100 minutes – English, French, Armenian, and Russian with English subtitles

The disputed landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh is an eight-hour drive from the closest airport, but French auditor Alain (Claire Denis’s frequent muse Grégoire Colin) could change this if he determines that the war-torn republic’s inactive Stepanakert Airport can safely reopen. As he spends a week getting to know the locals, Alain discovers an area struggling to rebuild itself two decades after a fragile ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and realizes that his regulatory decision could seal the global fate of a society on the verge of disappearance. Brought to life by a lively ensemble cast and a compassionate performance from Colin, this Cannes 2020 selection announces a sharp and forward-thinking new voice in Nora Martirosyan.

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Beyond the description, trailer and quoted reviews on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and IMDb. We encourage you to research our films at your own informational interest level via the internet.

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