A total of five films will be featured during a French Film Festival at Hope College on Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The festival is being presented by the French section of the college’s department of modern and classical languages. After each movie, there will be a post-screening discussion led by members of the Hope faculty.
All of the films are in French, but will include English subtitles.
The festival will open with “Berlin 1885: The Division of Africa” on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 4 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland. The film is set in 1885 in Berlin, Germany, and the European and American leaders are gathered at Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s home to divide Africa amongst themselves. Directed by Joël Calmette, the documentary invites the audience to join the conference, whose far-reaching effects on colonialism and African development continue today.
“Farewell” will show on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre. Based on a little-known true story, Christian Carion’s film portrays a Cold War spy tale straight from the files of the CIA. Sergei Grigoriev is a KGB colonel who, upset with the communist regime, leaks top-secret information to Pierre, a French spy. The classified information soon spreads to the French intelligence agency, the CIA and President Ronald Reagan, and ultimately contributes to the downfall of the communist regime.
“The Women on the 6th Floor” will show on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall. The intercultural comedy, set in 1960s Paris and directed by Philippe Le Guay, follows Jean-Louis, a bourgeois businessman, as he learns about the plight of newly arrived Spanish maids, refugees from Franco’s regime. His change of heart begins with learning the story of his own maid, Maria. While he helps the group of maids, they introduce him to their culture in return.
“The Pirogue” will show on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 3 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The title refers to the long, narrow canoe used by a group of intrepid Senegalese immigrants to get to Spain in Moussa Touré’s epic film. Led by fisherman Baye Laye, the members of the group hope to find economic relief in Spain, but must battle perils as they cross the sea to seek a better life.
The festival will conclude with “Monsieur Lazhar,” which will show on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre. Philippe Falardeau’s film follows the title character, a recent immigrant to Quebec from Algeria, as he finds his place replacing a middle-school teacher who recently committed suicide. The movie chronicles his struggles as well as those of his students, and how they learn to relate to each other through compassion and respect.
Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.
More information about the festival is available online at hope.edu/academic/language/french/filmfest14.html