Freedom !

by Marie-Pauline Mollaret

Freedom - and at times even revolt - is in air in this 2023 short-film selection.

Nans Laborde-Jourdàa’s cheerfully libertarian Boléro calls on the power of art as the ultimate driving force of a hedonistic revolution. In The purple season, Clémence Bouchereau tells – ever so delicately thanks to pinscreen animation - the story of a community of young girls living freely in some primeval paradise. Rachel GutgartsVia Dolorosa – another animation film in beautiful black and white - turns out to be a punk-like and contrasted depiction of Jerusalem. Unabashedly provocative, Dawid Bodzak’s Crocodile tackles head on the issue of violence in a work of art that doesn’t play nice.

The fight drives thecharacters in Irati Gorostidi Agirretxe’s Contadores, in this reenactment of a landmark event in Basque political history that still echoes in modern-day protests; as well as Armando Navarro’s dazzling Arkhé, a documentary based on archival footage that fights against oblivion. From a somewhat different angle, Hui SHU’s Walking with Her into the Night focuses on a couple who is not so much struggling head on, but rather resisting the inevitable with carelessness and good cheer.

As for Andrea Slaviček, his short film The Real Truth about the Fight pushes the envelope of storytelling to make a brand-new teen movie with a vibrant tang, while Inês Teixeira’s Shimmering Bodies offers a hypersensitive variation of a coming-of-age story that challenges the murky nature of relationships - between lovers and friends alike. And lastly, freedom – in its many forms, freedom to love, to come and go, and to exist even - is at the very core of the intense, and yet contemplative, quest of the protagonist in Morad Mostafa’s I promise you paradise.

The special screening session is a strange, gentle, and emotion- filled meeting point for lonely souls.

Singer and actress Jehnny Beth reignites Agathe Roussel’s joie de vivre in Stranger, that she codirected with Iris Chassaigne. Mathilde Chavanne’s Pleure pas Gabriel is a romantic comedy with memorable lines in which Dimitri Doré crosses path with Tiphaine Raffier. And Manolis Mavris (whom we discovered in 2021 with Brutalia) is back at La Semaine de la Critique with an intricate genre film on metamorphoses and urban isolation.

La Semaine de la Critique will keep supporting these talented filmmakers by offering them the opportunity to join the Next Step Programme, a training and support workshop towards making their first feature.

Marie-Pauline Mollaret,

Coordonatrice du comité de séléction courts métrages