Section: POLSKIE HORYZONTY: The Female Gaze



Fanny Ardant
France, Romania, Portugal, 2009, 105 Min
Alfama Films

Black and white images of the past. Violence, vendetta, blood feuds. Judith's husband was murdered, she leaves the country of her childhood for ever (or so she thinks) and goes to live in Marseille with her children.

But the children are curious and eager to get to know their ancestors’ home country, so ten years later they depart to visit for a few days the country they once called home. As in a classical Greek tragedy, fate seems inevitable and the continuously increasing chain of violence between rivalling family clans appears to know no mercy. Archaic traditions conquer any kind of reason and cordiality.

The screenplay was written by the French actress Fanny Ardant, much loved in particular by François Truffaut, and who also made her directing début with this film: “I had to tell the story of this family, about people's terror, the authority of ancient laws, daily humiliation, filmed as a plea for forfeiting any kind of violence.” She was inspired by an essay by the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare titled “Aeschylus or the Great Loser”. The shoot took place in Transylvania and the actress playing Judith is none other than the magnificent Moroccan-Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz.

Fanny and Ronit, two women men could learn a lot from. If they would only want to or be allowed to.

35mm | Farbe / colour
Fanny Ardant
Gérard de Battista
Mélissa Petitjean, Pierre Tucat
Célia Lafitedupont
Isabel Branco
David Moreau
Ronit Elkabetz, Abraham Belaga, Marc Ruchmann, Claire Bouanich, Olga Tudorache, Ion Besoiu, Tudor Aaron Istodor, Razvan Vasilescu, Andrei Finti, Madalina Constantin
Tudor Giurgiu, Paulo Branco
Alfama Films
Arte France Cinéma, Hirsch, DD Productions, Libra Film
Alfama Films
176 rue du Temple
75003 Paris
Tel: +33.1.42 01 07 05

Fanny Ardant - born in Saumur, France in 1949. First studied politics in Aix-en-Provence, then acting lessons with Jean Périmony. Professional theatre début in 1974, since then numerous appearances as an actress in film, television and theatre productions. CENDES ET SANG is her first film as a director.

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