Le Providence French Film Festival


Find a piece of French culture right here in Providence during the French Film Festival.

Kicking off its 19th year, the French Film Festival in Providence will run 19 films at the Cable Car Cinema on South Main Street over several days from February 20 to March 2. It’s an eclectic assortment of selections designed to appeal to a wide variety of viewers, according to Richard Manning, film archivist at Brown University who serves as co-director of the festival and has been involved “since day one.” Features include modern and historical dramas, coming of age romances, documentaries, and even a couple targeted for young adults.

The principal sponsor and benefactor of the festival is the Sevaux Fund at the Modern Culture and Media Department at Brown, in co-operation with other Brown and RISD departments including French Studies. The festival is “definitely a communal project,” said Manning, who credited Sylvie Toux with the original inspiration although she is no longer with Brown. The selection process of films for the past four or five years has been handled jointly by Shoggy Waryn, who is Toux’s successor in the French Studies Department, and by Manning. Since its second year, the festival has been held consistently in late February and early March to maximize its appeal to students on campus who have not yet left for Spring Break nor become preoccupied with end of semester tasks. Despite the festival’s close ties to the academic community, it is open to the public and derives about 20% of its revenue from ticket sales, Manning said.



Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust): Directed by Claude Lanzmann who is known for Shoah (1985) – widely acknowledged as the definitive Holocaust documentary – and for Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 p.m. (2001), this new film by the now-88 year-old director uses interview footage he filmed in 1975 of  Benjamin Murmelstein, the last “elder” of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The Nazis wanted a “model” camp that they could exploit as a showpiece to demonstrate to the international press how well-treated Jews were in concentration camps, and Theresienstadt was that camp. Murmelstein was appointed by the Nazis as, in effect, senior prisoner, which left him subject to charges of collaboration after the camp was liberated.

L’Ordre et la Morale (Rebellion): Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, this is a docudrama based on the disastrous French military response to the Ouvéa cave hostage taking in 1988 by guerrillas demanding independence for New Caledonia. The story is a thriller told from the point of view of the lead hostage negotiator.

Thérèse Desqueyroux: Directed by the late Claude Miller as the final film before his death, it is based on the 1920s novel by François Mauriac which was, ironically, notable for using the then-new conventions of cinema, such as flashbacks, as narrative literary techniques. It is an historical drama about an intelligent woman trapped in a marriage to a husband who cares only about appearances and reputation at the expense of everything real.

Jeune & Jolie (Young and Beautiful): Directed by François Ozon, this is a coming-of-age film whose central character is a girl of 17 who decides to explore her sexuality by losing her virginity to a German boy but finds the experience numbly disappointing, and so embarks on a secret life of prostitution.

Far from Vietnam: A remaster of a classic 1967 collaboration among famous French directors Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, this film was an openly political attack on the United States’ war in the former French colony

Lautence Anyways: Directed by Xavier Dolan, this unusual French-Canadian film is about a romance between Frédérique and Laurence, the latter of whom identifies as transgender and wishes to live as a woman rather than a man. Frédérique takes the news badly at first and ends the romantic relationship, but eventually takes an active role in teaching her former boyfriend Laurence how to dress as a woman, put on makeup, and otherwise find support.

Aya of Yop City: A young adult film co-directed by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, who created the original graphic novel that inspired the film, Aya follows a girl in the recently independent Ivory Coast during the 1970s, as she experiences the excitement of de-colonialization.

La Cite rose (Asphalt Playground): A young adult film directed by Julien Abraham about a 12 year-old boy who lives in a housing project with his family on the outskirts of Paris. His life becomes complicated when he falls for a girl in his class as school.

Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main St, Providence, RI 02903

Tickets: 401-272-3970 or




Thu 02/20/14 06:30 PM Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful)
Thu 02/20/14 09:00 PM The Meteor
Fri 02/21/14 04:00 PM Queen of Montreuil
Fri 02/21/14 06:30 PM Thérèse Desqueyroux
Fri 02/21/14 09:00 PM L’Ordre et la Morale (Rebellion)
Sat 02/22/14 12:00 PM Aya of Yop City
Sat 02/22/14 02:00 PM Haute Cuisine
Sat 02/22/14 04:00 PM Far From Anywhere
Sat 02/22/14 06:30 PM Cycling with Moliere
Sat 02/22/14 09:00 PM La mer à l’aube (Calm at Sea)
Sun 02/23/14 12:00 PM La Cite rose (Asphalt Playground)
Sun 02/23/14 06:30 PM Présumé coupable (Guilty)
Sun 02/23/14 09:00 PM Bowling
Mon 02/24/14 06:30 PM Populaire
Mon 02/24/14 09:00 PM Far from Vietnam
Tue 02/25/14 06:30 PM The Meteor
Tue 02/25/14 09:00 PM Queen of Montreuil
Wed 02/26/14 06:30 PM La mer à l’aube (Calm at Sea)
Wed 02/26/14 09:00 PM L’Ordre et la Morale (Rebellion)
Thu 2/27  2:15 PM  Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust)
Thu 02/27/14 04:00 PM Cycling with Moliere
Thu 02/27/14 06:30 PM Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust)
Fri 02/28/14 04:00 PM Far from Vietnam
Fri 02/28/14 06:30 PM Far From Anywhere
Fri 02/28/14 09:00 PM Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful)
Sat 03/01/14 12:00 PM La Cite rose (Asphalt Playground)
Sat 03/01/14 02:15 PM Laurence Anyways
Sat 03/01/14 06:30 PM Bowling
Sat 03/01/14 09:00 PM Présumé coupable (Guilty)
Sun 03/02/14 02:15 PM Blue is the Warmest Color
Sun 03/02/14 06:30 PM Ayiti Toma