May 17–27, 2024

Before the Fall: Justine Triet × 3

Seen in sequence, [Triet’s films] come off as variations on a theme … As even the barest of synopses shows, Triet’s choices are so consistent and so interconnected that they defy the category of mere interests and veer into the realm of obsessions.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker

When Justine Triet accepted the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, her speech struck a nerve. Members of France’s political class seized upon her comment that the commodification of culture that the neoliberal government defends is breaking the French cultural exception.” (Perhaps not incidentally, Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall was later passed over as the French submission to the Academy Awards for Best International Film.) But the more important statement by Triet was her rationale for speaking out: Without this same cultural exception, I would not be here before you today.”

The exception culturelle,” a tax on cinema tickets that exclusively benefits French films, is a safety net. It buys film artists space apart from the competition felt elsewhere (as in Canada) against American cinema. Triet, in particular, benefitted from the time it afforded her career to develop: she began in observational documentary, capturing the rhythms and characters within political campaigns and church communities, before turning, at 34, toward fiction.

The three features preceding the breakout of Anatomy are proof the hyperintelligence on display in that latest film was there from the start. Each film, in fact, builds from the one prior: actors, character names, motifs, and autofictional nods recur across her work. You could call it a deliberate auteurial breadcrumb trail, or simply the instincts of an ascendant artist working through some of the knottiest dilemmas of modern life, whether they be political, legal, or marital. The Cinematheque is proud to present the genesis of Triet’s fiction filmmaking career, with all three films screening in Vancouver for the first time.

Few filmmakers capture women breaking down quite like Justine Triet, who playfully balances humour and unhinged melodrama.”

Beatrice Loayza, The A.V. Club

Upcoming Screenings

  • Sibyl 4 c Kris Dewitte
  • Sibyl
  • France/Belgium2019
  • Justine Triet
  • 101 DCP
  • NR
  • Before the Fall: Justine Triet × 3
  • Age Of Panic 2
  • Age of Panic
  • La Bataille de Solférino
  • France2013
  • Justine Triet
  • 94 DCP
  • NR
  • Before the Fall: Justine Triet × 3
  • Victoria 1
  • Victoria
  • France2016
  • Justine Triet
  • 97 DCP
  • NR
  • Before the Fall: Justine Triet × 3

List of Programmed Films

Date Film Title Director(s) Year Country
2024-May Sibyl Justine Triet 2019 France . . .
2024-May Age of Panic Justine Triet 2013 France
2024-May Victoria Justine Triet 2016 France