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COMING TO TERMS

France, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Pascale Ferran

Winner of the Camera d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, Pascale Ferran's haunting debut feature is a compelling triptych of interconnected stories; an intriguing puzzle where the invasive past meshes with the pre­sent, suggesting that an entire lifetime may be spent in coming to terms with childhood loss.

The first story, Jumbo looks at the ineffectual strategies of the adult world in dealing with death through the eyes of a small imaginative young boy who, having given himself an elephantine code name, sets out to investigate all the mysterious details of his Brittany seaport surroundings; in Francois a specialist in insect classification watching his brother build a magnificent sand castle discovers himself pinned down by old resentments and half-ormulated desires, and Zaza, the two brothers' overworked elder sister, gives her name to the final part of Coming to Terms' cyclic exploration of the traps of grief and nostalgia.

Sifting through the shifting states of con­sciousness and concentration in a wise and visu­ally mesmerising rendering of the processes of mourning here is a filmmaker who understands the camera as precisely as she does the heart.

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