1991-2000DramaFrancePascale Ferran

Pascale Ferran – Petits Arrangements avec les Morts AKA Coming to Terms with the Dead (1994)

A dramatic triptych offering differing perspectives about death and its aftermath, set on a Brittany beach during the late summer…

L’histoire d’un chateau de sable, de celui qui le construit et de ceux qui l’observent sur une plage de Bretagne. Tous ont eu à vivre la perte d’un proche…

This haunting and original portrayal of grief was the first full-length film from director Pascale Ferran, who had previously been noted for her work as a sceenwriter. The film’s complex narrative structure and occasional moments of mad surrealism prevent it from being accessible to a mainstream audience but these contribute to the mood and impact of the piece. The film is divided into three parts, which tell the story from the point of view of three different characters. Of these, the most memorable is the first, which shows how a young boy reacts to the death of a close friend. Thanks to some inventive cinematography and editing, plus a heart-rending performance from child actor Guillaume Charras, this segment vividly conveys the trauma of a child who is forced to confront death for the first time. After such a brilliant start, the remainder of the film feels something of a let down, even if the calibre of the acting and direction is just as good as in the first part. One actor who stands out is Charles Berling, appearing in one of his first substantial film roles. The film won the Golden Camera award at Cannes in 1994.

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