Alliance Francaise French Film Festival continues…

If you haven’t caught up with the Alliance Française French Film Festival, there’s still time!

It screens around Australia from March 2–April 22. 

This week I review Antoinette in the Cévennes and De Gaulle.

Antoinette in the Cévennes – Antoinette dans les Cévennes

Antoinette in the Cévennes - Antoinette dans les Cévennes - AFFFF 2021

The delightful Laure Calamy (Call My Agent) is Antoinette, a primary school teacher having an affair with Vladamir (Benjamin Lavernhe) the father of one of her students. She’s looking forward to spending time with Vladamir during the school holidays when his wife is away visiting friends, but at the last minute his wife decides to book a family hiking holiday in the Cévennes mountains in the South of France.

Distraught and in a fit of panic, Antoinette decides she’ll also hit the trails hoping to cross paths with him, but not thinking beyond that. In a comedic scene on her first day in the Cévennes, she says that she is maybe meeting her boyfriend, and under further questioning, lets slip that he is indeed a married man.

She hires the optional donkey and, after some more funny moments cajoling and convincing the donkey to actually move along the trail, forms a beautiful bond with him. Her chats with the donkey, and some supportive people along the way, help her to clear her head and work out what’s important to her.

Calamy as Antoinette has great comedic timing, and despite her self-absorption, the warmth and joy Calamy exudes make her a pleasure to watch.

This is a fun film, which also provides some beautiful countryside for us to dream about.

De Gaulle

De Gaulle - AFFFF 2021

A fascinating film about Charles De Gaulle (Lambert Wilson) as he rises through the ranks during the German invasion of France in 1940. 

I didn’t know much about De Gaulle, a former President of France, so this was a great opportunity to get an insight into not only the man, but also the French politics during World War II. Turns out, there was a struggle between those who wanted to capitulate and do a deal with the Germans, and others such as De Gaulle who wanted to keep on fighting. 

We see De Gaulle developing strategies to keep the Germans from making more headway into France, and we see him appealing to Churchill (a fine performance by Tim Hudson) for help.

I found De Gaulle’s journey fascinating, particularly how his strident views and actions in the political climate of the time shaped his destiny.

We also get to know De Gaulle as a family man, but while this was a touch too saccharine for me, it provided an interesting personal background. 

The film has also inspired me to research a little more about this amazing man.

What do you think about these films? What have you seen so far? What do you recommend? 

So many wonderful films to see at this festival, check out the line up here

The Alliance Française French Film Festival screens around Australia from March 2–April 22.

Here you can find reviews of other French Films showing in this Festival here and here

About the Contributor

Cynthia Karena

I am a freelance journalist, TV researcher and media trainer based in Melbourne. I write about tech, film, sustainability and travel among other things - and of course, all things French for You can find me on Twitter and Instagram

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.