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my father is an engineer

France, 2004 (MIFF 2005, International Panorama)

Director: Robert Guediguian

my father is an engineer
In his powerful [My Father Is an Engineer], renowned director Robert Guediguian offers a socially and politically engaged observation of race, humanism and social ideals in a changing world. Doctors Natacha (Ariane Ascaride) and Jeremie (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) have been sweethearts since childhood, their lives intimately connected by love and profession. But while the idealist Natacha is committed to Marseilles' working-class, mixed-race district of L'Estaque, Jeremie has sought the broader world of Paris and politics. The film opens with the couple arriving in Marseilles for Christmas: she the Virgin Mary and Jeremie her Joseph in a modern-day retelling of the birth of Christ. But this allegory is merely an imagining of Natacha, who, mute and inert, has spiralled into a state of catatonia. News of her ill health brings Jeremie back to Marseilles, where he attempts to find the cause of her unforeseen malady. What he discovers is a mesh of intolerance, hypocrisy, betrayal and failed dreams, linked to forbidden love between a young white girl and an Arab boy.
D/P Robert Guediguian S Jean-Louis Milesi, Robert Guediguian WS Films Distribution L French w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/ 2004/108mins Robert Guediguian was born in Marseilles, France, in 1953. His films include [Where the Heart Is] (1998), [The Town Is Quiet] (2000), [The Last Mitterrand] (MIFF 05).

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