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Third annual French film festival begins

Katie Kohler | Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A series of well-known French films is playing at Saint Mary’s this week as part of the College’s third annual French Film Festival.

The movies will be shown with English subtitles in Vander Vennet Theater.

The films are highly regarded in the French community, said Mana Derakhshani, French professor and coordinator of the French program.

“We chose films that had been somehow recognized by getting Academy Awards, or Cesars [French Oscars] or the European Union Awards,” she said.

The department also takes recommendations from seniors studying French for which movies to include.

The festival is made possible through a grant from FACE, French American Cultural Exchange, and a number of other foundations, Derakhshani said.

In years past, the events have attracted between 50 and 60 viewers each night.

“Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff, as well as people from the Notre Dame community, local high school students and local community people attend,” Derakhshani said.

Admission is free and open to the public. Each screening will begin at 7 p.m.

The film “Brodeuses” will play Tuesday. The film involves a teenager who is forced to move out of her home because she is pregnant. In order to support herself, she begins working as an embroiderer with an older woman and gains a wealth of knowledge.

The film “Delwende, lève-toi et marche” will play Wednesday. This movie involves the emotional struggle of a teenage rape victim who does not reveal the rapist’s identity. After the incident, the woman is suspected of witchcraft and forced into exile.

The film “Paris, Je t’aime” will play Thursday. This film includes 18 different stories of Paris and highlights different areas of the city. Each story is directed by a different director and evokes the romance and longing the city is famous for, Derakhshani said.

The final film, “Les amitiés malèfiques,” will play Friday. This film follows the lives of French college students who try to emulate another student, but find that they are better off by themselves.