26th Annual Festival of Films in French

The 26th Annual Festival of Films in French runs from Friday, February 17 through Sunday, February 26, 2023.  Women’s & Gender Studies is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event.

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 ’70s (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 and 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.

The UWM French Program is most grateful to the Albertine Cinémathèque, a program of FACE Foundation and Villa Albertine, with support from the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma), and SACEM/Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain.
We extend our profound appreciation to the Quebec Government Office in Chicago for its continued support.
We value the community sponsorship of the Alliance Française of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee French Immersion School, and SWAAF (Southeast Wisconsin Academic Alliance in French).
The film Simone le voyage du siècle is in memory of Nicole Darmon Chandler, a former president of the Alliance française de Milwaukee.
Our thanks go to HOME & the Lynden Sculpture Garden for their renewed support.
We also thank our many UWM co-sponsors, past and present: Student Involvement, Union Cinema, the Department of Global Studies, the Master of Arts in Language, Literature, and Translation (MALLT), the Film Studies Program, the Department of Dance, the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres, the Center for International Education’s U.S. Department of Education Title VI NRC Grant, the College of Letters and Science, the UWM OSHER French Class in honor of Professors Gabrielle Verdier and Jim Mileham, as well as the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies and the Institute of World Affairs.
We extend a special note of gratitude to Professor Martine Meyer (1929-2013) and Professor Emerita Gabrielle Verdier for their vision in establishing the UWM Festival of Films in French.