Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Francophone Film Festival to shed new light to French films


For anyone interested in French culture, the French speaking world, or art films in general, the Francophone Film Festival is a must-see.  The festival features several French themed films shown every Thursday from November to December for free in the Olin Auditorium. The films are open to both Augie students and the community as well.

Week three of the festival was a showing of ‘Faces and Places,’ a documentary about two well known French artists: famous film director Agnès Varda and up- and-coming photographer/muralist JR.

‘Faces and Places’ is about these two radically different artists traveling across France, meeting interesting people and getting to know each other.

Agnès Varda is an old woman who has been in the French film industry for a long time and JR is a young, highly stylized photographer who turns his photos into murals.

There is a large generation gap between the two, so it is interesting and fun to see them interact and grow an almost familial bond.

In ‘Faces and Places,’ most of what the two artists are doing is going around making JR’s signature photo murals of people they meet around the country. This way, the people working and living in those areas are immortalized on the buildings and landmarks where they lived.

Megan Hoppe, a junior who attended the event, related the artists’ work to the topic of object permanence as discussed in her French class and felt that the film really wanted to exemplify how objects and possessions are not around forever, but our memories of people can, however have a more significant impact.

“I thought it was really interesting and entertaining in an artistic way. Our professor has talked a lot about object permanence as we go into a holiday season. That’s really about objects and all the stuff you get for Christmas and how they don’t really matter,” Hoppe said.

The film also does an excellent job of showcasing France’s beautiful countrysides, cities and industrial areas, showing them to people around the world who may have never seen theses areas or may not ever be able to visit them.

Dr. Kiki Kosnick is the French professor in charge of selecting the films being shown for the festival.  “I try to watch what’s coming out, what’s hitting the film festival circuits and what’s in the French media,”  Kosnick said.

“I’m interested in showing films that aren’t just from France or French-speaking Europe, so that people are exposed to a different artistic vision from West Africa or the Caribbean.” Dr. Kosnick continued by saying, “Films dealing with social issues are of interest to me. My hope is to bring students who are studying different kinds of things in and people in the community with different kinds of interests.”

This is what the French Film Festival is all about, exposing students and the community to the French culture and the French-speaking world through a smart grouping of artful films.

The next film being shown, ‘Memoir of War’ by Emmanuel Finkiel, will be held on Dec. 6 at 7 pm in the Olin Auditorium. The final film of the festival series will be held the following Thursday Dec. 13 at 7 pm showing the film ‘Tomorrow’ by Melanie Laurent & Cyril Dion.


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Francophone Film Festival to shed new light to French films