FUNNY FELIX (1999) [Feature]

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

Felix is a happy-go-lucky, smiling guy who lives in a dull town on France's northern coast. One day, in need of some excitement, he decides to visit Marseille and the father he never knew. Instead of taking the train directly, he puts on his backpack and simply sets off, telling his lover, Daniel, that he will meet him in a week's time.

Felix's journey is filled with colourful characters: a young artist and thief with whom he steals a car; a feisty old woman who shares a bizarre shopping day with Felix; and a guy who gives him a lift and an unexpected surprise. One by one, Felix builds up an imaginary family in his mind, with each person he meets cast in a particular role—younger brother, grandmother and cousin. By the time he reaches his destination, Felix has already satisfied his familial yearnings.

This is the second collaboration from the team that wowed MIFF 1998 audiences with Jeanne and the Perfect Guy. Winner of the Jury Prize at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Funny Felix is a bittersweet exploration of one man's journey to simply enjoy himself. Sami Bouajila is wonderful as the hitchhiking Felix, who reminds us that having a good time is what life is all about.

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