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Providence, RI 02903 USA
tel: 401/861-4445
401/490-6735 (f)


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Newport, RI 02840 USA

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Duncan Putney






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Connecting Through Storytelling

The 2017 Tournées French Film at Roger Williams University in collaboration with Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival





BRISTOL, RI: Roger Williams University (RWU) and Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) are proud to collaborate in the presentation of the Fifth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival. The theme for this year’s Festival is “Connecting through Storytelling.” The Festival will take place over a six-day period, April 3-8, 2017 and will be free to the general public and campus community. The RWU Tournées French Film Festival was made possible by a $2,200 grant from the French American Cultural Exchange, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes French culture through grants and special projects in arts and education.


The RWU Tournées French Film Festival will present six new and classic French feature films, (all with English subtitles); along with a selection of shorts films that the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival will premiere through its partnership with UNIFRANCE that will precede each feature.


The Bristol, RI campus of Roger Williams University will serve as the host location for the Festival, with screenings to take place at the Global Heritage Hall, Room 01 and the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center in the Campus Library.


For the past few decades, an array of contemporary French filmmakers have sought to use film as a means to wrest us from the illusions provided by the narrative of global connectivity. Often focusing on protagonists who exist outside dominant culture, or who feel detached from it, these filmmakers have tried to illuminate the realities of social oppression, isolation and alienation, while simultaneously foregrounding the powerful human desire for acceptance, intimacy and belonging.


The Fifth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival offers films that continue on in this vein. Each film centers on characters struggling to make social connections in a world that is often constructed to keep them apart.


Aesthetically, these films eschew Hollywood’s affinity for vibrant imagery, hyper-kinetic editing, broad characterizations and closed endings. Long-takes, hand-held-cameras, natural dialogue, complex characters and ambiguous narratives are used to create cinematic experiences that feel like life-as-it-is-lived; these are all films that invite the audience to engage with the world, rather than escape from it.


The Program Directors for the Fifth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival are Dr. Roberta Adams, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Dr. Jeffrey Martin, Professor of Theatre and Chair, Department of Performing Arts; and George T. Marshall, Executive Director, Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival. The RWU Film Production Collaborative has provided event technical support. For more information, please go to www.RWU.edu.



Monday, April 3rd

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, Bristol, RI



Directed by: Guillaume Nicloux | 91 min. France, Belgium, 2015

CAST: Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert


Thirty-five years after playing a bourgeois woman and her thug lover in Maurice Pialat’s classic Loulou, Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu are finally reunited in Guillaume Nicloux’s deeply original Valley of Love. Here, France’s two leading stars play Gérard and Isabelle, a divorced couple of famous actors who meet in Death Valley after receiving a letter from their dead son, a recent suicide, promising that he will reappear in the desert at a specific time and place. While Nicloux, one of French cinema’s masters of the unexpected (his previous feature was The Kidnapping of Michel Houllebecq, with the controversial writer playing himself in a fictional story), fills Valley of Love with discordant visions worthy of David Lynch and wry observations of the inevitable culture clash between French and American guests in a odforsaken motel, the heart of the movie is simply the aura of its two stars and the collective memory they embody. Watching Isabelle Huppert’s marvelously nuanced expressions and Gérard Depardieu’s monumental presence—it is fair to say that he upstages the desert—the viewer is confronted with a wordless meditation on the passage of time and the extent to which moviegoers’ lives are enmeshed with those of the people on the screen. Drawing not only on its own gripping story but on the history in its actors’ faces, Valley of Love reaches an emotional fever pitch in the heart of the desert.




Tuesday, April 4th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Mary Tefft White Cultural Center, RWU Library, Bristol, RI


FAR FROM MEN (Lion des hommes)

Directed by: David Oelhoffen | 101 min. France, 2014

CAST: Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb


Algeria, 1954. The War of Independence is rumbling into being. In a remote oneroom schoolhouse in the Atlas Mountains, Daru (Viggo Mortensen), the son of Spanish settlers, teaches Algerian children French. One day, local French police officers appear with Mohamed (Reda Kateb), an Algerian accused of murder, and charge Daru with escorting him to trial in the closest city while they continue to fight the growing insurrection. David Oelhoffen’s film starts off as an archetypal Western—two men thrown against each other as they traverse a barren landscape—but when Daru and Mohamed find themselves stuck between French troops and the rebel army, it turns into a gripping meditation on the fate of individuals tossed to and fro by sociopolitical forces beyond their control. Freely adapted from Albert Camus’s short story The Guest (from the collection Exile and the Kingdom), Far from Men has the classic sheen of the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age: big moral questions projected onto vast landscapes, steely performances from its two stars, and, most importantly, a universality grounded in the specific. While Far from Men is essential viewing for its insight into a conflict whose effects continue to be felt, it is first and foremost a universal story of civilians faced with the absurdity of war.



Wednesday, April 5th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI


RIFIFI (Du rififi chez les hommes)

Directed by: Jules Dassin | 118 min. France, 1955

CAST: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Jules Dassin


Along with Jacques Becker’s Touchez pas au grisbi and the films of Jean-Pierre Melville, Jules Dassin’s 1955 classic Rififi is one of the uncontested peaks of hardboiled French noir. It begins when Tony, an aging gangster fresh out of jail, agrees to pull a final big heist with his protégé Jo and the Italian specialists Mario and Cesare. The heist goes off without a hitch, but sets off an ugly gang war with Tony’s rival Pierre Grutter. Like the best noir films, Rififi transcends the coded world of the professional gangster to become an existential tragedy about love, loyalty, and the inexorable passage of time. Shot in black and white on the grimy streets of fifties Paris, the film oozes character and slangy authenticity and is full of unforgettable set pieces like a song and dance show in a louche nightclub, a practically wordless jewelry heist, and Tony’s quasi-expressionistic last drive through Paris with a bullet in his gut and a restless child in the passenger seat of his convertible. Rififi is also notable for its subtle reflection on gender roles: while the women initially appear to be accessories at best and betrayers at worst, they are eventually revealed to be the film’s moral core and the antidote to the deceptive masculine allure of the underworld.




Thursday, April 6th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI


MAY ALLAH BLESS FRANCE! (Qu’Allah bénisse la France!)

Directed by: Abd Al Malik | 96 min. France, 2015

CAST: Marc Zinga, Sabrina Ouazani, Larouci Didi


May Allah Bless France! is the invigorating first feature by acclaimed French rapper and novelist Abd Al Malik, a coming-of-age story and redemption tale based on the writer-director’s own youth in the beleaguered projects of Strasbourg. The film follows the struggles of Régis, a budding rapper who relies on petty crime to fund his passion for music. But as his fellow musicians get lured into drug dealing, teenage Régis finds salvation in the classics of French literature and his conversion to Sufi Islam. While Abd Al Malik’s edifying hymn to education and tolerance is first and foremost a boldly idealistic statement, it is also a profoundly satisfying cinematic experience, shot in high-contrast black and white and full of powerful stylistic devices that break with convention to heighten the impact of everyday violence and injustice. Fluidly adapting his talents as a storyteller to the screen, Abd Al Malik revisits the “banlieue film”—the sub genre of films dealing with restless youth in France’s tough suburbs, launched by Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine in 1995—not only to give an insider’s update, but to break with the genre’s suffocating pessimism. In these challenging times for France, and particularly for French Muslims, this intelligent and accessible call for a potential way forward is nothing short of essential viewing.




Friday, April 7th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI



Directed by: Robin Campillo | 128 min. France, 2013

CAST: Oliver Rabourdin, Kirill Emelyanov, Danil Vorobyev


When middle-aged gay professional Daniel spots the undocumented teenager Marek at a train station in Paris and invites him back to his place, he unwittingly makes himself the target of a home invasion by a gang of ruthless Eastern European youth. Despite this most unpromising of starts, Marek and Daniel continue to see each other and their relationship shifts from a sexual arrangement to a surrogate father-son bond. As Daniel learns more about Marek’s life in his native Chechnya, he decides to rescue him from the gang. Though Eastern Boys is only the second feature directed by veteran screenwriter Robin Campillo, it is a surprisingly assured effort, combining empathy and intellectual honesty with a formal rigor that allows the film to develop the breathless momentum of a thriller without sacrificing its complex approach to the hot-button topic of immigration. Through his unusual and thought-provoking way of handling his subject matter, Campillo develops a critical awareness of each of his characters’ positions in society. Whether by recognizing the continued vulnerability of the homosexual, dedicating screen time in a sparsely populated film to a cleaning lady and a hotel receptionist, or precisely describing the circumstances of undocumented youth in France today, Campillo has proved that he is a keen witness to his times, and one whose perspective will be valuable in the years ahead.




Saturday, April 8th

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI


FRANCOPHINE FILM FESTIVAL / A Celebration of French Short Films

Directed by: Various | 100 min. France, Belgium, Canada, 2015, 2016






Time: 4:00 p.m.

Location: Global Heritage Hall, Room 01, RWU, Bristol, RI



Directed by: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli | 84 min. France, 2015

CAST: Audrey Tautou, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Edouard Baer, Jackie Berroyer, Gaspard Gagnol


Phantom Boy is the second animated feature from Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, the team behind the Oscar-nominated smash A Cat in Paris. With Phantom Boy, Gagnol and Felicioli bring their charming style of handdrawn animation and whimsical narrative to New York to tell the story of the unlikely alliance between wheelchair-bound police officer Lieutenant Tanguy and Leo, a seriously ill eleven year-old. Thanks to Leo’s ability to send a ghost-like projection of himself flying through the city and some legwork from daredevil reporter Mary Delauney (voiced by Audrey Tautou), the duo are able to save New York from a disfigured maniac without ever leaving their hospital rooms. While Phantom Boy has enough action to appeal to the most hyperactive child, its serious core about childhood illness and its amusing play with the codes of the thriller and superhero genres, not to mention its winks at great local films and series such as Manhattan and The Sopranos, make for a sophisticated viewing experience. With drawings that literally pulse with life and a foreigner’s glee at depicting New York (the dialogue is in French), the film’s greatest assets are a tender blend of poetry and comedy and an idiosyncratic look in which the human touch is always apparent.


For more information, call Flickers at (401) 861.4445.


See below for directions to Roger Williams University • Interactive Map of RWU Campus

RWU PARKING INFORMATION: From Providence: Take Routes 136 South or 114 S passing campus on the left. Take a left at the traffic light just before the Mount Hope Bridge, onto Old Ferry Road. Take the first right into the parking lot.


From Newport: Take 114N over the Mount Hope Bridge and take the first right off the bridge onto Old Ferry Road. Take the first right into the parking lot.


Guests should enter through the main entrance at the fountain. they will be able to obtain a guest parking pass. Lot 24a will be blocked off for guests of the festival. Proceed through the main entrance through to the lot 24a on left. Events will take place in the Global Heritage Hall.

The Fifth Annual RWU Tournées French Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund. The Festival is presented in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Communications; the Department of Theatre; Hillel; the Spiritual Life Program, the RWU Film Production Collaboratuve and the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival.