This year McDaniel has been selected out of countless colleges and universities across America to showcase the French film festival Tournees. McDaniel has been host to this festival for four years now. awhich has helped to promote a cultural exchange between American and international students here on campus through cinema. The films showing this year deal with many different contemporary topics apparent in French speaking countries, which are expanded upon when discussed by members of the McDaniel faculty and attendees after viewing the films. Dr. Vera Jakoby, who hosted the post-discussion of the film “Nénette,” commented that “[Tournees] connects us to the international community. It opens students and faculty up to issues around the world.”
What event could be better for a college fostering awareness of a global community and global citizenship? The films presented this year throughout the festival confront issues ranging from animals in captivity in the Paris Zoo to the daily life of monks in an Algerian monastery surrounded by violence. Needless to say, the French films being shown are “very different than Hollywood movies,” as Junior Paula Sophie puts it. When asked what she meant by this she replied “maybe French filmmakers don’t look as much to please an audience.” I’m sure this is not entirely true of all French filmmakers but it seems, after viewing a few Tournees films myself, that this observation gets to the point of what the festival is truly all about.
The Tournees film festival is ultimately about encouraging cultural exchange, creating dialogue across academic disciplines, global issues, and promoting awareness of not only French film and culture but of the issues addressed on screen. If you’re interested in broadening your horizons and experiencing French cinema in a thought provoking way, this year’s festival will wrap up Sunday September 25th in Decker Auditorium with a 6pm screening of “A Prophet,” a film about a young Arab man sent to a French prison who becomes a mafia kingpin. The post-discussion of the film will be conducted by Dr. Naïma Hachad. Come show your support in fostering a global community.