Rendez-vous with French Cinema 2021 Preview
It's Spring in New York. It means it's time for Rendez-vous with French Cinema, the festival showcasing the best of what contemporary French cinema can offer. But this year, with all-virtual presentations due to the Covid-19 crisis, the festival is going beyond New York audience. So any lovers of French cinema in the US will have access to all the films presenting!
The 18 film line up includes Sebastian Lifshitz's affecting Little Girl - the first documentary to open the festival, François Ozon's queer romance nostalgia piece Summer of 85, Nicole Garcia's sexy noir Lovers and Quentin Dupieux's idiosyncratic comedy Mandibles starring Adèle Excharpoulos. Rendez-vous with French Cinema runs 3/4-3/14. Please click on the Film at Lincoln Center link for tickets and information.
Without further a do, here are 6 films I was able to sample:
Little Girl - Lifshitz *Opening Night Film
Sébastien Lifshitz, director of such queer art films as Come Undone and Wild Side, directs Little Girl, a poignant documentary on gender dysphoria- a feeling of distress that occur in people whose gender identity differs from the sex they are born with. The film concerns Sasha, a second grader who is having a hard time being accepted in school and the world as she was born as a boy but feels strongly about being a girl. It's a good thing she has a a very supportive family - parents and three siblings. First it's her mom who feels responsible because she wanted a girl when she was pregnant with Sasha as doctors assure her that her child's condition has got nothing to do with her wishes. The prejudices Sasha faces in school, by her principal and teachers make the little girl cry. She is also prejudiced in her ballet class as she is not treated as a girl. And it is heart wrenching to see the child cry in pain.
There are good moments as Sasha plays with her best friend Lola with bobbie dolls in her pink girly room, or her hanging out on the beach in cute bikinis she picked out. Children don't notice or don't care if Sasha is a boy or girl. It's the adults who are narrow minded. Why not let Sasha be what she wants to be, Lifshitz seems to say. As were his documentaries on LGBTQ pioneers in Les Invisibles and The Lives of Thérèse, Little Girl is a deeply humanistic look at people struggling with identity politics of the still rigid, dogmatic world.