26th annual Festival of Films in French, February 17-26, 2023

The UWM Festival of Films in French returns this February for its 26th annual edition. It runs every day starting February 17 through February 26. All 17 films are free and open to the public at the UWM Union Cinema, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., (2nd floor). All films are in French or in other languages, with subtitles in English. Favorites are back including the Tuesday silent film with live piano accompaniment. Please join us!

This festival attends to women’s choices and showcases adaptations and transpositions to the silver screen while travelling from Quebec to Belgium and France and onto Madagascar with generational stories about survival and exile, histories of decolonization and discrimination, and documentaries about state repression (Un pays qui se tient sage) and capitalist ventures (Étoile du matin).

Where opening night features two stories of young women facing unwanted pregnancies in France in the 1960s (L’événement) and 1970s (Annie colère), Alice Diop’s Saint Omer revisits the court case of a woman’s infanticide. Arlette! follows the challenges a young minister of culture faces in the Quebec government, and Germaine Dulac’s 1920s scientist must choose between her career and her family (La mort du soleil).

The lives of two towering figures – Simone Veil and Frantz Fanon – retrace the fight for human rights and justice of the last century. While sons (Les secrets de mon père) and grandsons (Interdit aux chiens et aux Italiens) reconnect using animation with their families’ silenced past of the Holocaust and 1920s economic exile from Italy, African American soldiers’ experiences after WWI in France are documented in Fighting for Respect. La permission recounts a GI’s leave from his base in 1967 France.

Our classic this year comes with a twist. It is the 2021 adaptation of Balzac’s Illusions perdues, which contrasts with the 2019 staging of Rameau’s 1735 Les Indes galantes with urban dance forms taking center stage at the Bastille Opera, and the super 8 texture of the Ernaux family films.

Join us for 17 films that remember and story ethical and existential truths for today and tomorrow.