Every September, students, faculty – and even the Francophiles of Westminster – gather at McDaniel’s Decker Auditorium for a look into the world of French cinema.
The Tournées Film Festival, hosted by the college’s Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in collaboration with the French Club, showcases the latest French films, along with one classic film, over the course of the month. This year sees a full spectrum of French cinema: documentaries, dramas, comedies, and an Oscar-nominated children’s cartoon.
For McDaniel’s eighth year of the festival, a number of the films reflect the wide range of cultures seen in the Francophone world. L’Attentat (The Attack), the story of a surgeon in Tel Aviv, is spoken in Arabic and Hebrew. In French and English, Réalité (Reality) follows a director in search of the perfect, Oscar-worthy groan of pain.
La Cour de Babel (The School of Babel), the award-winning documentary from French director Julie Bertuccelli, is perhaps the most telling of the diversity found in the French-speaking world. The film documents the lives of young immigrants from around the globe who recently moved to Paris, and who must attend a school for students who are unfamiliar with the French language. The struggles, and the joys, that come from the students’ uncertainties and discoveries in their new world move and inspire audiences.
One of the festival’s goals is to examine its films from various points of view – an interdisciplinary approach. The audience sees a movie through a French lens, and later is invited to stay for an after-screening discussion featuring a faculty member from one of the college’s academic departments. During the discussion following the animated film Ernest & Celestine, the Department of Education’s Dr. Mona Kerby addressed, along with analysis of the film’s animation and music, the aspects of the film that make it appealing not only to children, but to adults as well.
The Tournées Film Festival brings its movie-goers into the diverse and engaging world of French film, and keeps audiences coming back each year. Dr. Silvia Baage, assistant professor of French, hopes the festival can continue, and sums up the thoughts of McDaniel’s French film fans when she says, “It’s been fun.”
Schedule for upcoming films:
Monday Sept 19, 4:30 pm: Réalité
Wednesday Sept 21, 4:30 pm: Loin des hommes
Tuesday Sept 27, 4:30 pm: L’Attentat
The Department of World Languages appreciates feedback regarding the film festival, and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org