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Carleton hosts Contemporary French Film Festival

September 18, 2017

Carleton College is pleased to once again host the Tournées French Film Festival, bringing six acclaimed contemporary French films to the campus and the Northfield community. The films, in French with English subtitles, will be screened on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. Carleton faculty members will also be on-hand to provide a brief introduction prior to each film screening.

Partnering with FACE, the French American Cultural Exchange, the Tournées French Film Festival is designed to bring the best of contemporary French cinema to American college and university campuses. The featured films span generational and geographic borders, offering a range of genres and subjects, and showcasing innovations in both style and storytelling. “We are extremely fortunate to bring these exceptional films to campus,” notes Cathy Yandell, who chairs Carleton’s department of French and Francophone studies.

Monday, Sept 18, “Frantz” (Introduction by Scott Carpenter)

Directed by François Ozon (Drama from France/Germany, 2016, 113 min.)

In the aftermath of World War I, a young German grieving the death of her fiancé in France meets a mysterious Frenchman who also visits the fiancé’s grave to lay flowers. The film thoughtfully probes the aftermath of WWI through the memories and relationships of loved ones left behind.

Monday, Sept. 25, “Examen d’Etat” National Diploma (Introduced by Chérif Keïta)

Directed by Dieudo Hamadi (Documentary from Congo/France, 2014, 92 min.)

In the Congo, passing the national baccalaureate exam can save a young person from a life of manual labor and open the doors to university and a career. To fail the exam is to be fated to struggle for survival through menial work. Working in classic cinema vérité style, Hamadi follows the group of students through the exam to the nerve-wracking announcement of the results, providing an indelible portrait of the role of education in Congolese society.

Monday, Oct. 2, “Quand on a 17 ans” Being 17 (Introduced by Cathy Yandell)

Directed by André Téchiné (LGBT drama from France, 2016, 116 min.)

This memorable depiction of the trials and triumphs of coming of age—and coming out—follows the story of seventeen-year-old Damien, the son of a deployed solider whose mother takes in the bully who terrorizes him at school when the bully’s own mother falls ill.

Monday, Oct. 9, “Avril et le monde truqué" April and the Extraordinary World (Introduced by Stephanie Cox)

Directed by Franck Ekinci and Christian Desmares (Animated adventure & family film from Belgium/Canada/France, 2015, 103 min.)

Accompanied by her talking cat, a teen embarks on a quest to find her missing parents in 1941 Paris. This one-of-a-kind animated adventure film ushers the viewer into a dystopic steampunk landscape, based on the unmistakable blend of urban grit and historic fantasy found in the drawings of Jacques Tardi, one of France’s most influential graphic novelists of the last century.

Monday, Oct. 16, “Elle” (Introduced by Cédric Briand)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven (Psychological thriller from France/Germany, 2016, 130 min.)

In this work of startling moral complexity, Isabelle Huppert stars as a successful businesswoman who gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Monday, Oct. 23, “La noire de…” Black Girl (Introduced by Carol Donelan)

Directed by Sembène Ousmane (Classic drama from Senegal/France, 1966, 59 min.)

The first feature produced in sub-Saharan Africa, Black Girl is the story of Diouana, an illiterate
nursemaid from Dakar who follows her French employers to the Côte d’Azur
with dreams of discovering France. As a powerful example of cinema’s ability to give voice to the disenfranchised, it stands alone as a painfully timely, masterful work of art.

The Tournées French Film Festival at Carleton College is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC). For more information, including trailers of the featured films, visit

This series is presented by the Carleton College Department of French and Francophone Studies, in partnership with the International Film Forum and Arts@Carleton. Screenings are free and open to the public; for more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4389. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at Third and College Streets in Northfield.