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Augustana offers five nights of French film

January  06, 2011

Augustana College invites the public to its ninth annual free Tournées French Film Festival each Thursday from Jan. 13-Feb. 10, 2011.

All films are in French with English subtitles. Admission is free. Films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Hanson Hall of Science auditorium (room 304).

Support for the Tournées Festival is provided by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, highbrow entertainment and The French American Cultural Exchange.

For more information, contact Dr. Sarah Skrainka (309) 794-7655 or

The films:

Jan. 13: Avenue Montaigne

(France, 2006, 106 minutes, rated PG13)

Jessica, raised by her grandmother in the French countryside, is a waitress in a chic Parisian café across from a performance complex where a play, a concert, and an art auction will occur the same evening.

It's a world in flux: the play's star wants off a popular TV soap that's made her rich, and she covets the lead in a film about de Beauvoir and Sartre; the pianist hates the concert circuit, but his wife who's his manager may leave him if he quits; a self-made widower with a girlfriend less than half his age is selling his collection of modern art - his son, a professor, objects to his father's love life. The stage manager at the complex is resigning after 30 years. Jessica sets the tone for how all plays out. (IMDB)

Jan. 20: Le Chant des Mariées
(The Wedding Song)

(France, 2007, 100 minutes, rated R)

In her follow-up to her 2005 debut, Little Jerusalem, director Karin Albou reveals herself to be a highly gifted, sensitive chronicler of both the complex lives of young women and religious differences.

Set in Nazi-occupied Tunis in 1942, The Wedding Song focuses on the friendship between teenagers Nour, a devout Muslim celebrating her engagement to Khaled, and her neighbor Myriam, a secular Jew living with her widowed mother. (IMDB)

Jan 27: Welcome

(France, 2008, 110 minutes, not rated)

Both a study of a budding friendship and a compassionate look at the perils faced by illegal immigrants, Philippe Lioret's Welcome centers on Bilal, a 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd who is stuck in Calais, in Northern France, and Simon, a recently divorced swimming teacher.

Desperate to join his girlfriend in London, Bilal vows to swim across the English Channel if he has to, setting the stage for his meeting with Simon. Unmistakably a condemnation of xenophobia in France, Welcome also features richly drawn, fully fleshed-out lead characters. (IMDB)

Feb. 3: Entre les Murs
(The Class)

(France, 2008, 128 minutes, rated PG13)

The winner of the 2008 Palme d'Or at Cannes, the film follows a class at a diverse Parisian public junior high school. In an unusual example of art imitating life, the film was based on the best-selling book by real-life teacher François Bégaudeau, who also wrote the screenplay and plays himself in the film.

As François attempts to teach the French language to his multi-ethnic students, he offers both the opportunity and the threat of modern cultural assimilation. No one is above reproach in this difficult and important film. (IMDB)

Feb. 10: Bamako

(France, 2006, 115 minutes, not rated)

Over the course of a few days, a trial pitting African civil society against such international financial institutions as the World Bank and the IMF has set a stage in the courtyard of a home in Bamako, Mali. The trial's examination of Africa's debt to the World Bank provides a surreal contrast to the everyday life shared by families whose homes surround the courtyard.

Filled with warm colors and inspirational music, Bamako voices Africa's grievances in an original and profoundly moving way. (IMDB)