She was 18, they were in love, lived together 10 years. 20 years letter she
sends him a letter. She’s sick, does not talk much about her, but asks him
a question “When will you make a good movie ?”. He then takes his camera and
tries to speak of other things, about cinéma, their early political combats
and what became of them. Through his hesitations, his interrogations, he
draws the bitter image of an era. Moscow, Gaza, Berlin, Belgrade, Sarajevo,
Paris, Sarajavo again. A way to stay with her, to retail life. Continue reading Romain Goupil – Lettre pour L… (1994)
This intelligent and current picture about childhood fears and understandings also serves as a damning indictment of French immigration policy under Sarkozy. Narrated retrospectively from the year 2067 by central protagonist Milana, she tells the story of her near-deportation from France at the age of ten and the plan her young classmates hatched to save her. Milana (Linda Doudaeva) lives with her Chechen family in Paris and attends the same school as her friend Blaise (Jules Ritmanic) and his younger sister Alice (Louna Klanit). After their friend Youssef is deported along with his family, Blaise’s mother (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) takes Milana into their home, hoping to protect her from the police, busy chasing deportation targets. The children hear stories of their immigrant neighbours falling to their deaths from balconies trying to hide from the strong-armed authorities and entire families disappearing and so eventually take their safety into their own hands by absconding to an underground basement as a kind of protest of solidarity with Milana. It’s a culture of fear and paranoia in which even the classroom is no longer safe for those not natively born in France, their multi-cultural community is effectively portrayed as a police state and whilst set today and grounded in reality, images of groups of officers marching down the street evoke the darkest Orwellian dystopias. Continue reading Romain Goupil – Les mains en l’air aka Hands in the Air (2010)
Documentary on the life of Michel Recanati, a leading figure in the May 1968 riots in Paris. He was also involved in the Revolutionary Communist Youth movement and anti-fascist campaigns. He was imprisoned briefly in 1973, and five years later committed suicide aged thirty.
This film won the Golden Palm at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.
It often gets referenced as one of the greatest films about “1968”. Continue reading Romain Goupil – Mourir à 30 ans aka Half a life (1982)