French film festival continues through Feb. 21 at CSB/SJU

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February 4, 2020

The Tournées Film Festival at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University continues with four French movies to be shown Feb. 4-21.

Although the films are in French, English subtitles are provided. There is no admission fee, and refreshments will be served at each of the screenings, which begin at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 4 – “Kinshasa Makambo,” at Little Theater, room 346, Quadrangle Building, SJU. Leading Congolese documentary filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi plunges the viewer into the heart of a non-violent revolutionary movement with this gripping portrait of three young men dedicated to removing President Joseph Kabila from power.

Friday, Feb. 7 – “Claire’s Camera,” at Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, CSB. Actor Isabelle Huppert reunites with director Hong Sang-Soo, the South Korean master of wryly philosophical character studies and international beacon of independent filmmaking against the odds (he released four films in 2018), with this delightful comedy about Claire, a French music teacher and amateur photographer who travels to the Cannes Film Festival for the first time.

Wednesday, Feb. 12 – “The Raven (Le Corbeau),” at Little Theater, room 346, Quadrangle Building, SJU. One of the most influential films in the history of French cinema, “Le Corbeau” describes the breakdown of civic order in a small provincial town when a rash of poison pen letters spreads suspicion among the local citizens: adultery, theft, even murder — there is no limit to the allegations set forth in the anonymous letters signed with the mysterious image of a crow.

Friday, Feb. 21 – “Return of the Hero,” at room 204, Gorecki Center, CSB. Only moments after the dashing Captain Neuville has asked for the hand of aristocratic young Pauline Beaugrand, he is summoned to join Napoleon’s troops in Austria in 1809. The captain rides off, promising to write, but the months pass without any news. Finally, Pauline’s older sister Elisabeth composes a forged letter in Neuville’s name, hoping to cheer her lovelorn sister, without considering that she will reply — and expect an answer. Elisabeth is soon pulled into a web of deceit, inventing ever more outlandish stories to explain Neuville’s extended absence.

Previous films shown in the series at CSB/SJU included “I Am Not Your Negro” (Jan. 21) and “Memoir of War” (Jan. 27).

The film festival, which aims to bring French cinema to American colleges and university campuses, is an initiative of the Language and Cultures Department at CSB/SJU, with a grant from the French-American Cultural Exchange Foundation, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

A number of departments at CSB/SJU are co-sponsoring individual films. “Kinshasa Makambo” is co-sponsored by the Peace Studies Department; “Claire’s Camera” is co-sponsored by Asian Studies and the Center for Global Education; “The Raven” is co-sponsored by the French Club; and “Return of the Hero” is a collaboration with the German section of Languages and Cultures.    

Founded in 1995, the Tournées Film Festival has partnered with over 650 universities, reaching an audience of over half a million students and community members across the United States. This is the third time the film festival has been at CSB/SJU.