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France, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Sandrine Veysset

"A depiction of French family life from director Sandrine Veyssett (Will it Snow For Christmas MIFF 1997). Martha is an unstable young woman given to fits of depression. She is clearly not the ideal mother for six-year-old Use, who may or may not be the daughter of her loyal, long suffering partner, Reymond who makes a precarious income selling secondhand clothes.

Martha smokes and drinks too much and often leaves Reymond and Use at night to drink and flirt with men. She is haunted by an unspecified tragedy from her past, possibty involving the death of her brother. In the opening sequence, she pays a visit to her parents and gets a chilly reception, her careworn mother mistaking her for her sister Marie, who is married and living in Spain. Marthas parents don't even know she has a child. When on a whim, Martha drags her family to visit Marie, it's an uneasy stay. She leaves for France and disappears after being raped by a couple of men who picked her up at a bar. Martha's disturbed nature is contrasted with the steady strength of Reymond, who is patient with her but clearly worried she'll do something terrible to herself or Use."—David Stratton, Variety. Screened in Director's Fortnight Cannes 2001.

See also...


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Sandrine Veysset's Will it Snow for Christmas? is a film of transcendent power. Eschewing an trace of melodrama, it depicts a rural French family struggling to eke subsistence from the land. A young ... More »


The coltish young girlfriend of a college boy takes a perverse shine to his charmingly thuggish drug dealer in Jacques Doillon's Totally Flaky, a mile-a-minute sampler of contemporary speech patterns ... More »


New Year's Eve in Paris. Victor (18) and Momo (25) are stranded in a bus heading towards the health centre for homeless people. 24 hours before: Victor is fired from his job as a delivery boy for a ... More »


A beautiful elaboration on personal loss and what it means to be left alone. In a film radically removed from his past works, Francois Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks MIFF 2000) again shows ... More »


This tense psychological thriller - based on a true story - that follows Pierre, a day worker who finds himself under extreme harassment by co-worker Fred when he takes on a graveyard shift at a ... More »

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