The Five French Films to Watch on TV5MONDE in August

This August, TV5MONDE offers an eclectic program, ranging from absurdist comedy with the hit Au Poste! with Benoit Poelvoorde, to the delicate and powerful drama on Syrian refugees, Meltem. 

Meltem (2019)

August 18 at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT, with English subtitles

Basile Doganis creates a genuine and colorful landscape when telling the story of of a group of French suburbanites meeing a Syrian refugee. When these two very different cultures collide, Doganis balances the tone perfectly between drama and comedy. The script is made even more delightful and heartfelt by excellent actors. 

A year after her mother’s death, Elena returns to the family holiday home in Lesbos. The young French-Greek woman is accompanied by her friends Nassim and Sekou, more used to life in an inner city estate than on an idyllic beach. One day they meet Elyas, a young Syrian refugee. 

"By mixing the shadow of death (of Elena’s mother and migrants alike) with the radiant light of the film’s setting, and dramatic emotions with a summery lightness and a hint of comedy (carried well by Nassim and Sekou), Meltem (the name of a strong dangerous wind, but also that of a strong woman, Elena’s ancestor) manages to find an interesting angle to promote a humanist message about how cultures intermingle and become entangled."Cineuropa

Director: Basile Doganis
Cast: Daphné Patakia (Elena), Rabah Naït Ouffela (Nasim), Lamine Cissokho (Sekou), Akis Sakellariou (Manos), Féodor Atkine (Edward)
Genre: Drama

Au poste (2018)

August 11 at 8.30PM ET/5:30PM PT, with English subtitles

A completely absurd comedy that's a bit childish, with a pinch of black humor. A truly indescribable film carried by the genius of Benoit Poelvoorde.
A police station. A tête-à-tête, in custody, between a commissioner and his suspect.
"Super-stylized and darkly absurd, the story becomes increasingly unmoored as fact and fiction, past and future start to melt and meld together."Winnipeg Free Press

Director: Quentin Dupieux 
Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde (Buron), Grégoire Ludig (Fugain), Marc Fraize (Philippe), Anaïs Demoustier (Fiona), Orelsan (Sylvain), Philippe Duquesne (Champonin), Jacky Lambert (Franchet)
Genre: Comedy

Sauver ou périr (2018)

August 25 at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT, with English subtitles

A deeply moving and subtle hommage to firefighters as well as a delicate portrait of a man who is learning to live again. Prepare to cry, a lot.

Franck, a fireman in Paris, is happy. He loves his job, his wife has just given birth to twin. But soon, his life turns upside-down. Severely burned during a difficult operation whilst trying to save his men, his face melted in the flames. He now begins a long, slow reconstruction

“An engrossing if familiar triumph-over-adversity story."– Hollywood Reporter

Director: Frédéric Tellier 
Cast: Pierre Niney (Franck Pasquier), Anaïs Demoustier (Cécile), ChloéStefani (Nathalie), Vincent Rottiers (Martin), Sami Bouajila (Doctor Almeida) 
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1h 56m

Éternel jardin, le cimetière du Père Lachaise (2018)

August 10 at 6:35PM ET/5:30PM PT, with English subtitles

A fascinating documantary that reveals an unknown facet of one of the most visited cemetaries in the world, and shows us the backdrop of this fascinating place where Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and Pierre Desproges are laid to rest.

An unexpected Eden in the heart of Paris, a peaceful, well-preserved Eldorado and a necropolis surrounded by greenery, Père Lachaise is an internationally renowned cemetery. What's not generally known however, is that it's also a refuge for wildlife, a memorial site where time and nature are king.

Director: Christophe d'Yvoire 
Genre: Documentary

Un juif pour l'exemple (2016)

August 4 at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT, with English subtitles

An ambitious adaptation of Jacques Chessex's book, which leaves you scratching your head as much as it makes you tear up. 

1942, Europe is in turmoil. But in Switzerland, more precisely in Payerne, the war is far away. In the remote countryside, the earth has the pungent taste of pigs blood and cattle, which have been killed here for centuries. The economy is suffering with factories and workshops disappearing. Fernand Ischi, boastful, cunning, and well informed, was sworn in, with about twenty Payernois, to the Nazi Party. He dreams of drawing the attention of the Legation of Germany by killing a jew, 60-year-old Arthur Bloch.

"Beyond the hypocrisy and standard-issue discourse that surrounds us, Jacob Berger is bold enough to draw a frightening but pertinent parallel bolstered by the strong images it is built on. The story he tells us is as simple as it is frightening, a necessary reprimand that forces us to reflect." - Cineuropa

Director: Jacob Berger 
Cast: Bruno Ganz (Arthur Bloch), André Wilms (Jacques Chessex), Aurélien Patouillard (Fernand Ischi), Paul Laurent (Ballotte), Baptiste Coustenoble (Robert Mermet), Pierre-Antoine Dubey (Max Mermet), Steven Matthews (Fritz Joss) Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1h 13m

Go back