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THE WIDOW OF SAINT-PIERRE

Canada / France, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Towering Over The Eiffel – New French Cinema)

Director: Patrice Leconte

'An unconventional love story told with delicacy and power, The Widow of Saint Pierre is a sweeping costume drama shot through with issues and considerations as pertinent today as they were 150 years ago. Based on true events, the film recounts the strange and wonderful triangle formed by a military officer, his much beloved wife and the convicted murderer she endeavours to redeem through kindness and trust. The movie is beautifully made and genuinely haunting."—Variety

Daniel Auteuil as garrison commander of a windswept island outpost and Juliette Binoche as his saintly, but earthly, wife deliver piercing performances that linger long after the lights have gone up. Celebrated director Emir Kusturica—with his gigantic, imposing demeanour—is outstanding as the oafish outsider who commits a terrible crime while pitifully drunk. Initially feared and scorned, he becomes a cherished member of the extremely tight-knit Saint-Pierre community. The film is photographed in spectacular widescreen in sharp, distinctive light. Enigmatic yet serene, uncluttered by emotionally layered, this is European filmmaking at its peak.

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