Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Un secret

A Secret. FR 2007. PC: UGC YM, France 3, Soficinéma 2, Soficinéma 3. D+SC: Claude Miller – based on the novel by Philippe Grimbert (2004). DP: Gérard de Battista. COST: Florie Vaslin. Make-up: Lucía Bretones-Méndez. M: Zbigniew Preisner. ED: Véronique Lange. CAST: Cécile De France (Tania Stirn / Grimbert), Patrick Bruel (Maxime Nathan Grinberg / Grimbert), Ludivine Sagnier (Hannah Golda Stirn / Grinberg), Julie Depardieu (Louise), Valentin Vigourt (François Grimbert at 7), Quentin Dubuis (François Grimbert at 14), Mathieu Amalric (François Grimbert at 37). 105 min. Print: Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes with English subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 1 December 2009.- Print ok, with a digital intermediate look in the nature scenes. - The story of a shattering quest into the history of three generations of a French Jewish family starting in the 1930s. - Based on the novel of a French psychoanalyst, tracking the impact of severe traumata across generations, the major viewpoint being that of François Grimbert from the 1950s till the 1980s. This is his Bildungsroman, as he learns the terrible secrets from his family's experiences (the first wife and the first son of his father were murdered in the Holocaust), and how his father always saw him as the clumsy, inadequate substitute for the first, brilliant son. - The form of the film is a mosaic. The film moves freely like a person's mind between various periods of time. The edit is pretty quick. - The mosaic quality and the quick edit are somewhat disturbing, as if the story were too heavy to be taken in larger doses. - This is strong and moving material, the actors are excellent, and there is a special gravity in the film that stems probably from the fact that the family of the director Claude Miller (born in 1942) has had to endure a similar tragedy.

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