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French Film Festival

2012 FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
"Father Figures"

All films are subtitled in English, and will be shown in The Bytwerk Theater on the campus of Calvin College in the DeVos Communication Center. Free admission. For more information call (616) 526-6361.
Sponsored by the Calvin French Department and the Calvin Film Forum.

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Monsieur Lazhar
by Philippe Falardeau (2011)
Thursday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors.
Rated PG-13. Running time: 94 min.

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Incendies
by Denis Villeneuve (2010)
Friday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m.

When notary Lebel sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan to read them their mother Nawal’s will, the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes – one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn’t know existed. In this enigmatic inheritance, Jeanne sees the key to Nawal’s retreat into unexplained silence during the final weeks of her life. She immediately decides to go to the Middle East to dig into a family history of which she knows next to nothing.
Simon is unmoved by their mother’s posthumous mind games. However, the love he has for his sister is strong, and he soon joins her in combing their ancestral homeland in search of a Nawal who is very different from the mother they knew. With Lebel’s help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman. An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s hit play, Incendies is a deeply moving story that brings the extremism and violence of today’s world to a starkly personal level, delivering a powerful and poetic testament to the uncanny power of the will to survive.
Rated R. Running time: 130 min.

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Starbuck
by Ken Scott (2011)
Thursday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.

At 42, David lives the life of an irresponsible adolescent. He coasts through life with minimal effort and maintains a complicated relationship with Valerie, a young policewoman. Just as she tells him she's pregnant, David's past resurfaces. Twenty years earlier, he began providing sperm to a fertility clinic in exchange for money. He discovers he's the father of 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a class action lawsuit to determine the identity of their biological father, known only by the pseudonym Starbuck.
Rated 14+ . Running time: 109 min.

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Le Vendeur (The Salesman)
by Sébastien Pilote (2011)
Friday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Marcel Lévesque, a quick-witted car salesman nearing retirement, lives to sell. He has been salesman of the month for the last sixteen years at the dealership where he has spent his career, in a declining industrial town in Lac Saint-Jean, where it's cold enough to scare away the tourists and buying a car sometimes seems completely absurd. There's just one thing on his mind: getting his beloved Detroit rides off the lot. Marcel Lévesque is a salesman from a bygone era, a man who learned his trade by telling tales - "fibs dressed up with flowers" - and making his customers happy. But a tragedy will change everything for this peddler of dreams.
Rated PG. Running time: 107 min.
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