For the fourth consecutive year, Cornell Cinema teams up with the Department of Romance Studies to present a Francophone Film Festival, made possible, in part, by an Albertine Cinémathèque (formerly Tournées) Festival grant. The grant supports six films, chosen from the granting organization’s recommended titles, and includes three older titles: a program of recently restored short documentaries by Alain Resnais, a restoration of the late American director Melvin van Peebles’ The Story of a Three Day Pass, based on his own French language novel, and Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum.
The remaining three titles supported by the grant are the recent films Slalom, Charlene Favier’s quietly devastating drama of sexual abuse set amid an elite ski club, featuring a knock-out performance by Noée Abita as a high school student who falls victim to her attentive coach, revealing the complicated ways abuse can work; Sebastien Lifshitz’s Little Girl, a moving documentary portrait of 7-year-old Sasha, a transgender girl who became aware of her gender dysphoria in very early childhood; and French-Ivorian writer-director Philippe Lacôte’s magical realist Night of the Kings, which takes place during one night in a notorious prison in the middle of the Ivorian forest. The highly acclaimed film from Ivory Coast was shortlisted for Best International Feature Oscar in 2020.
Cornell Cinema expands the Festival to include two more films from French speaking African countries—Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, the Sacred Bonds from Chad, and Mati Diop’s Atlantics from Senegal (also in Wolof, Arabic & English) — as well as virtual offerings of American documentarian James Blue’s sole narrative feature, The Olive Trees of Justice (1962), shot in Algiers during the Algerian War and shown in a new digital restoration that just premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of its “To Save and Project” series; a new 35mm print of Alain Resnais’ underseen Je t’aime, je t’aime, a haunting tale of romantic obsession and time travel; and Ladj Ly's Oscar-nominated Les Miserables (2019), inspired by the 2005 riots in Paris.
Albertine Cinémathèque is a program of FACE Foundation and Villa Albertine in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States and with the support of CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée) and the Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain.