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Les ogres

France 2015. Dir: Léa Fehner. 144 min. DCP

A freewheeling, intergenerational theatre troupe tours Chekhov and emotional minefields in French rising-star director Léa Fehner’s sophomore film, winner of the Audience Award at Rotterdam. Partially based on the helmer’s own upbringing with on-the-road theatre folk (aka “ogres”), and featuring superb turns by Fehner’s real-life mother, father, and sister — as well as in-demand Adèle Haenel (The Unknown Girl, BPM [Beats Per Minute]) and Almodóvar staple Lola Dueñas — this moving ensemble piece is a personal and decidedly familial project for the young cinéaste. Unsurprisingly, its dramatic notes — pregnancy, infidelity, alcoholism — ring of experienced truth, steering the movie clear of soap-opera schlock. Co-written by Philippe Garrel thesp Brigitte Sy. “A raucous, ribald romp ... Crowd-pleasingly big hearted” (Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter). In French with English subtitles. This screening is part of Young French Cinema, a program made possible with the support of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy..