French Film Festival is in its 21st year

The festival celebrates recent films plus cooperation with Czechoslovakia

The 21st Festival of French Film runs from Nov. 21 to 28, with screenings at Lucerna, Světozor, Kino 35 and Anděl.

Only a few of the films have English subtitles, though.

Highlights of the English-friendly films include Eva, a new film by Benoît Jacquot based on a novel by James Hadley Chase. A failed writer steals a play from a dying man but is lost about what to do for a follow up until he meets a prostitute named Eva.

Dark themes again are seen in 9 Doigts (9 Fingers) by director Francois-Jacques Ossang, a film noir-inspired tale of a robbery gone wrong and a gang on the run.

Le Semeur (The Sower) is a costume drama set in a town that has been left with no men due to a war. The women decide that if a man ever turns up, they will share him.

Amin is a contemporary tale of a man from Senegal who comes to France to look for work, leaving his family behind and finding new relationships in his new home.

Ma vie avec James Dean (My Life with James Dean). A filmmaker named Géraud goes to a seaside town to screen his experimental film, but the only person who wants to see it is the underage projectionist who develops a crush on the director.

L’Aveu (The Confession) is a 1970 film by Costa-Gavras set in 1950s Czechoslovakia. A faithful war veteran is arrested and questioned, but he never finds out why.

Le Brio looks at the rise of racism with a law professor known for his outbursts being forced to mentor an Albanian student after he targets her in a bigoted rant.

Mektoub, My love: Canto Uno is set in the summer of 1994 with a boy coming back to his hometown.

The festival’s main section has pre-premieres of new films that will soon go into general release, but that all have only Czech subtitles. The Now or Never section is one-off screenings of recent films. Film Hits also has popular recent releases. There are also some short films.

For those who speak French or can read Czech subtitles, part of the festival will offer a look back at Czech and French film cooperation to mark the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia. Films in this section include the 1936 version of Golem by Julien Duvivier, based on a Voskovec and Werich play. More recent cooperation includes the 1969 film Pravda by Jean Luc Godard and L’Homme qui ment by Alain Robbe-Grillet. Production on the latter film was interrupted by the events of 1968.

The classic animation La Planète sauvage, which won a special prize a Cannes in 1973, will also be shown. L’Aveu (The Confession) is the only one with English subtitles in this section.

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