French & Francophone Film & Cinema
Our class in French and Francophone cinema and film offers a diverse mix of classic and contemporary French language films. The instructor, Manon Bellet, is a French cinephile who has a real passion for movies.
In this course, after watching French language films, we will examine their directors and actors, analyze the themes and language, and learn vocabulary and expressions related to a specific film and to cinema in general. Each class includes an open discussion in French and English.
This course provides a deeper understanding and analysis of French language films in a relaxed environment on Zoom. Because the class is virtual, the students are asked to watch the film (in French with English subtitles) before the lesson.
The program for this semester presents 4 foreign films and 1 French film which highlight the different cultures in the world where the French language is spoken. But also migration, social, colonial and cultural problems specific to these different cultures.
Class meets Wednesday night (see dates below) at 6:45 p.m. online on Zoom.
Fee: $70 for the full semester.
Please find below the list of dates and films for this semester. For more information, please contact Manon Bellet at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercredi le 19 octobre – Wednesday, October 19
Little Senegal, Rachid Bouchareb, 2001
Little Senegal is a 2001 Algerian film directed by Rachid Bouchareb. The movie explores the African roots of Black-American people who claim African origins but ignore their cultural past. The movie led to the attribution of the name Little Senegal to a district in New York populated with Senegalese people, located in Harlem on 116 West Street, between 5th and 8th Avenue. Aging Senegalese man Alloune (Sotigui Kouyaté) curates a slavery museum in his home country. Spurred by the reaction of curious patrons, Alloune is inspired to find the descendants of the people brought to the United States during the slave trade. So he travels to America, eventually landing in New York and meeting up with his cab driver nephew, Hassan (Karim Koussein Traore), Hassan’s girlfriend, Biram (Adja Diarra), and storekeeper Ida (Sharon Hope), who could be Alloune’s distant relative.
Mercredi le 2 novembre – Wednesday, November 2
Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau, 2011
Monsieur Lazhar is a 2011 Canadian French-language drama film directed by Philippe Falardeau and starring Mohamed Saïd Fellag, Sophie Nélisse and Danielle Proulx. Based on Bashir Lazhar, a one-character play by Évelyne de la Chenelière, it tells the story of an Algerian refugee in Montreal who steps in to teach at an elementary school after the former full-time teacher commits suicide. Bachir Lazhar arrives at the school to fill the tragic void and help the children cope with their loss.
Mercredi le 16 novembre – Wednesday, November 16
Razzia, Nabil Ayouch, 2017
Razzia (from Arabic: ﻏزﯾﺔ, romanized: ghazia, lit. ‘Raid’, romanized according to French orthography into “Razzia”) is a 2017 Moroccan drama film directed by Nabil Ayouch. It was selected as the Moroccan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, Razzia is mostly set in Casablanca and characters frequently discuss the 1942 film Casablanca. In this searing and mesmerizing drama, five Moroccans from different social and religious strata are pushed to the fringe by their extremist government.
Mercredi le 30 novembre – Wednesday, November 30
La haine, Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui)—a Jew, an African, and an Arab—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.
Mercredi le 14 décembre – Wednesday, December 14
Samba, Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, 2014
Samba is a 2014 French comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache. It is their second collaboration with actor Omar Sy following The Intouchables (2012). The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2014. It was released theatrically in France on 15 October 2014. Samba Cissé (Sy), a migrant from Senegal to France, works as a dish washer in a hotel. After a bureaucratic slip-up lands him in detention, he is ordered to leave France. With the help of a businesswoman (Charlotte Gainsbourg), he fights to stay in France.