Du rififi chez les hommes / Rififi

Campus Cinema @ Witherspoon Student Center

Thursday, January 26 @ 7 pm (122 min)
Saturday, January 28 @ 9:30 pm (122 min)

Jules Dassin’s 1955 classic Rififi is one of the uncontested peaks of hardboiled French noir. It begins when Tony, an aging gangster fresh out of jail, agrees to pull a final big heist with his protégé Jo and the Italian specialists Mario and Cesare. The heist goes off without a hitch, but sets off an ugly gang war with Tony’s rival Pierre Grutter.

Like the best noir films, Rififi transcends the coded world of the professional gangster to become an existential tragedy about love, loyalty, and the inexorable passage of time. Rififi is also notable for its subtle reflection on gender roles: while the women initially appear to be accessories at best and betrayers at worst, they are eventually revealed to be the film’s moral core and the antidote to the deceptive masculine allure of the underworld.

School of Babel courtesy Icarus Film

La cour de Babel / The School of Babel

Sunday, January 29

Hunt Library Auditorium

3 pm (89 min)

School of Babel follows a year in a Paris schoolroom for children who have recently immigrated to France. Using a surprisingly intimate fly-on-the-wall style, Julie Bertucelli’s documentary gives us unforgettable glimpses into the lives of children from Mauritania, Serbia, Venezuela, Romania, Senegal, Libya, Ireland, Brazil, and China - who have come to France for reasons ranging from studying violin at the Paris conservatory to escaping genital excision.

May Allah Bless France

Qu’Allah bénisse la France! / May Allah Bless France!

Campus Cinema @ Witherspoon Student Center

Thursday, February 2 @ 7 pm (96 min)
Saturday, February 4 @ 9:30 pm (96 min)

May Allah Bless France! is the invigorating first feature by acclaimed French rapper and novelist Abd Al Malik, a coming-of-age story based on the writer-director’s own youth in the beleaguered projects of Strasbourg. The film follows the struggles of Régis, a budding rapper who relies on petty crime to fund his passion for music. As his fellow musicians get lured into drug dealing, Régis finds salvation in the classics of French literature and his conversion to Sufi Islam.


La belle saison / Summertime

Campus Cinema @ Witherspoon Student Center

Thursday, February 9 @ 7 pm (105 min)
Saturday, February 11 @ 9:30 pm (105 min)

It’s 1971 and Delphine (Izïa Higelin), the only child of a farming couple in the Limousin, stuns her rural community by moving to Paris to go to university. Once in the city, she quickly gets swept up in the feminist movement and falls in love with the sophisticated activist Carole (Cécile de France).

But when her father has a heart attack, Delphine must return to help her mother on the farm—and Carole follows. Through the love story between two women who must struggle not only against homophobia but class divisions, Catherine Corsini’s Summertime presents a gripping portrait of an age of political and social ferment.

Fidelio by First Run

Fidelio, l’odysée d’Alice / Fidelio

Campus Cinema @ Witherspoon Student Center

Thursday, February 16 @ 7 pm (97 min)
Saturday, February 18 @ 9:30 pm (97 min)

In Lucie Borleteau’s striking debut feature, the sailor setting off to sea and leaving behind a lonely lover is a woman: Alice, a young ship engineer. Once aboard, Alice realizes that Fidelio is the new name of the vessel she was trained on a decade earlier. And, the ship’s captain was once her first great love. Borleteau paints an unforgettable picture of shipboard life for a woman who is one of the boys but faces the double standards that go with being the only girl in a world of men.

My Friend Victoria

Mon amie Victoria / My Friend Victoria

Campus Cinema @ Witherspoon Student Center

Thursday, February 23 @ 7 pm (95 min)
Saturday, February 25 @ 9:30 pm (95 min)

In My Friend Victoria, Victoria (Guslagie Malanda) becomes fascinated with a wealthy, white family as a little girl, then later has a daughter out of wedlock with one of the sons. As she struggles both with a sense that she is losing her daughter to this bourgeois family and the growing resentment of her own son, who has a black father and does not enjoy the family’s attention, Victoria highlights the situation of foreigners in France today: privilege is within her reach, but never truly hers.