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CHANCE OR COINCIDENCE

France, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Claude Lelouch

Myriam enjoys a quiet sojourn in Venice with her young son, Serge. In her previous career as a dancer she was filmed in this very city in a passionate duet with her estranged husband. She is approached by Pierre, an art forger some years her senior. Myriam is wary of his advances but unlike his duplicitous trade, Pierre seems to be a very warm, open and honest man. Romance blossoms swiftly and melancholia lifts from Myriam's life...

A Canadian Futurist, Marc, buys stolen video equipment from thieves who raid luggage at airports. The camera bag contains tapes of Myriam's holiday, a trans­continental adventure to fulfil the dreams of the dancer, her son and new beau, Pierre. Marc becomes obsessed with the record of the lives of these total strangers, particularly when he discovers that one tape includes the final moments of Serge and Pierre who were lost at sea while sailing a small yacht on a perfect day.

Reality Vs fiction, appearance Vs truth, memory Vs recreation. The meaning beyond surface impressions is what concerns veteran French director Claude Lelouch in this fascinating film. Having been drawn into a pleasant but unremarkable romance, the viewers expectations are thwarted when lives collapse in utter despair and grief. People from opposite sides of the globe are drawn together by the simple need for real human contact.

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