Maison Française Film Festival
Produced and presented by the Columbia Maison Française
Additional support provided by the Knapp Family Foundation, Villa Albertine, and Columbia University’s Alliance Program, Department of History, ISERP, Institute of African Studies, European Institute, and Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
Curated by Shanny Peer, Fanny Guex, and Ilana Custos-Quatreville
Screenings will be introduced or followed by panel discussions with film directors and invited scholars
All films are subtitled in English. Screenings are free and open to the public. RSVP required
Columbia University’s Maison Française presents six films in its 2023 film festival, Across Generations: Unveiling the Past, Embracing the Present, curated by Shanny Peer, Fanny Guex, and Ilana Custos-Quatreville. Five of the films are documentaries and one is an historical fiction. Five are recent releases, one has become a reference film, and all are French productions or co-productions.
We are delighted to present two U.S. premieres in the festival, The Life Ahead of Us: Another Face of Immigration directed by Frédéric Laffont and co-written by Arianne Chemin, and A Story of One’s Own directed by Amandine Gay. Amandine Gay and two other directors, David Ernaux-Briot, and Alain Kassanda, are coming to New York to discuss their films after the festival screenings.
The films selected for this festival all explore memories and intergenerational connections within families that reach into the past and help shape the present. They share a number of common themes and storytelling devices in striking ways. Each of the films makes use of personal photographs, home movies, and other private or public archival images—or missing pictures in the case of Rithy Panh’s film—combined with interviews, investigating these visual and oral memories to decipher individual, family, and generational histories and identities and the ways these evolve over time and across national and social boundaries. These movies masterfully weave together past and present, microhistory and macrohistory—whether it’s the history of colonization and decolonization in the Congo (Colette and Justin) and Mali (Dancing the Twist in Bamako), the Cambodian genocide (The Missing Picture), post-colonial immigration of Moroccan workers to France (The Life Ahead of Us), the legacy of international adoption (A Story of One’s Own), or French family life and gender roles in the burgeoning middle classes of the 1970s (Les Années Super 8).