Screening and discussion of "Poetical Refugee" with actress Elodie Bouchez and film critic Jean-Michel Frodon

Sponsored by Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Research Unit


Tuesday, May 9, 2006
5:00 pm –
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Cubberley Auditorium (School of Education)

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Event Details:

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with an interview between actress Elodie Bouchez and film critic Jean-Michel Frodon, editor in chief of Cahiers du cinema. At 6 p.m. is the screening of La Faute a Voltaire (Poetical Refugee, 2000) directed by Abdel Kechiche, followed by a conversation with Bouchez and Frodon. PLEASE NOTE: The date of this screening has been switched with that of Games of Love and Chance, which will now be on May 11.

Cast: with Elodie Bouchez, Sami Bouajila

Synopsis: Winner of the Golden Lion for first feature at the 2000 Venice Film Festival, La Faute à Voltaire aka Poetical Refugee is the story of Jallel, a Tunisian immigrant in Paris. Claiming to be a refugee from war-torn Algeria in order to get political asylum, his life in the country of 'liberty, equality and fraternity' is one of homeless shelters, illegal jobs and emotionally complex sexual relationships.

But director Abdel Kechiche refuses to portray Jallel as either hapless victim or angry rebel. Instead, he focuses on Jallel's interpersonal relationships with his new community, an eclectic group of unemployed French and second-generation immigrants struggling to survive. Here, it is the wounded who heal the wounded, and Jallel, in spite of his own traumas, becomes a healing force for the emotionally troubled women whose lives intermingle with his.

With superb performances by Sami Bouajila (Leo, in the Company of Men, shown at the festival last year), Aure Atika (Tenja, The Beat that My Heart Skipped) and Elodie Bouchez (The Dream Life of Angels, TV series Alias), Poetical Refugee offers a tender portrayal of life on the margins.

The film is in French with English subtitles. Conversation will be in English. Part of the series From Script to Screen: Conversations on Contemporary French Cinema, sponsored by the Research Unit in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

Admission Info

Open to the public

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