Our April Selection of French Films on TV5 Cinema on Demand

This month, TV5MONDE Cinema On Demand is teaming up with Young French Cinema, a Unifrance program showcasing some of the best talent of this generation's French filmmakers.

Young directors have a strong message to share with today's viewers, and themes tend to revolve around the increasing clash between social and political class and cultural systems. From Ouvrir la voix, an honest conversation about what it means to be a black woman in France, to Sofia, a story of a girl who commits the illegal crime of falling pregnant out of wedlock, to Retour à Bollène, a semi-autobiographical story of a French-Moroccan businessman returning home to introduce his American Fianceé to his North African immigrant parents. 

Ouvrir la voix (2017)

In French with English subtitles. Available beginning April 19

This intimate and direct look at the female black experience throughout history and to the present has a cohesive and emotionally driven voice that deserves to be seen and heard the world over.

Ouvrir La Voix is a documentary about black women whose background is steeped in the history of European colonial in history in Africa and the West Indies. The film centers around how black women experience difference and the specific clichés linked to these two dimensions that are an integral part of our "woman" and "African" identity. There is a special focus on the intersections between discrimination, art, the plural nature of our live's paths, and the need to reappropriate the narrative.

“Amandine Gay’s documentary Ouvrir la Voix confronts a political and historical paradox: the illusion of color blindness that’s central to the French national self-image." - The New Yorker

Directed by: Amandine Gay 
Genre: Documentary

Retour à Bollène (2018)

In French and Arabic and English with English subtitles. Available beginning April 19

A tumultuous story of familial and cultural tension that builds and builds, with the nuance and authenticity that only the French script can provide.

Nassim, in his early thirties, lives in Abu Dhabi with his American fiancée, Elisabeth. After several years of absence, he returns with her to Bollene, a town in the South of France where he grew up. But Nassim must face his past: a dead city now governed by the far right party, a complex relationship with his family, and a father he no longer speaks to.

“A sensitive portrait, in which intimate wounds, regrets, past ghosts, contradictions and grey areas are certainly not lacking, creating a situation that is difficult to escape from" - Cineuropa

Directed by: Saïd Hamich 
Cast: Saïd Benchnafa, Anas El Baz, Kate Colebrook 
Genre: Drama

Braguino (2017)

In Russian with English subtitles. Available beginning April 19

The most captivating stories are the ones that really happened. Set in the wild forests of Siberia, this is a great opportunity for nature escapists to observe, learn and reflect upon.

In the middle of the Siberian taiga, 450 miles from the nearest village, live two families: the Braguines and the Kilines. Not a single road leads there. A long trip on the Ienissei River, first by boat, then by helicopter, is the only way to reach Braguino. Self-sufficient, both families live there according to their own rules and principles. In the middle of the village: a barrier. The two families refuse to speak. In the river sits an island, where another community is being built: that of the children. Free, unpredictable, wild. Stemming from the fear of the other, that of wild beasts, and the joy procured by the immensity of the forest, unravels a cruel tale in which tensions and fear give shape to the geography of an ancestral conflict.

“Shot with absolutely outstanding rigor by cinematographer Sylvain Verdet and edited with a taut sense of pacing by Pauline Gaillard that gives the film the feel of a thriller passed through a prism of fairytale ambiance." - Nonfics

Directed by: Clément Cogitore 
Genre: Short film-documentary

Gaspard va au mariage (2018)

In French with English subtitles. Available beginning April 19

Ever feel like you live in a zoo? The wacky characters in Gaspard va au mariage know your pain. Anything goes in this quirky and charming movie that works for the whole family.

After keeping a careful distance for many years, 25-year-old Gaspard must reconnect with his family when his father remarries. Accompanied by Laura, an eccentric young woman who agrees to pretend she's his girlfriend at the wedding, he finally feels ready to return to the zoo owned by his parents, where he is reunited with the monkeys and tigers he grew up with...

"Antony Cordier unveils a refreshing film about emotional ties, with a surrealist yet human sense of humour" Cineuropa

Directed by: Antony Cordier
Cast: Félix Moati, Laetitia Dosch, Christa Théret 
Genre: Comedy

Sofia (2018)

In French with English subtitles. Available beginning May 3

Another examination of the hypocracy and patriarchal systems that still plague some North African families. An important watch, acknowledging injustice with tact and fantastic performances.

Sofia, 20, lives with her parents in Casablanca. Suffering from pregnancy denial, she  finds herself breaking the law by giving birth to a baby out of wedlock. The hospital gives her 24 hours to provide them with the identification papers belonging to the father of the child before informing the authorities...

"Writer-director Meryem Benm’barek’s lean, nuanced script astutely picks apart class hypocrisy via a story of a young woman who gives birth out of wedlock."Variety

Directed by: Meryem Benm'Barek
Cast: Maha Alemi, Lubna Azabal, Sarah Perles, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Hamza Khafif
Genre: Drama

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