Sixty one years !

by Ava Cahen

For sixty one years, at La Semaine de la Critique we have stood by young filmmakers from across the globe, watching and programming their first films, both feature and short films, growing with talents we watched grow. And La Semaine de la Critique never grows old, quite the opposite. We remain forever young thanks to these directors that brighten our sky. Bright shooting stars they are too. As bright as the stars on photographer Charlotte Abramow’s poster, a tribute to Chloé Mazlo’s first feature film Skies of Lebanon

Also on the poster, two characters are staring into each other’s eyes. Just a look, a stare, and the sky’s the limit. This year, with the committees, we paid very close attention to how we look at films. What we expect from a first film is for it to surprise us, to shake us, to stir our feelings and emotions. A first film is a leap into the unknown, it’s taking on another perspective, discovering new actors and actresses, meeting new characters, children, teenagers and adults alike, growing through ordeals, experiencing joy, grief and fear. They give us strength, heart and hope. The selection reflects the colours of our feelings. For months, we kept them secret, but today we are setting them free! Is there anything better than sharing films that we saw first, films we loved, with the audience, sharing what we once were the only ones to see, with our modest stare? 

The pace of the programme revealed itself throughout the selection process; love is this year’s main theme. Most selected films are about love: as an answer to crises, whether existential, political, moral or social. The love of a brother (Summer Scars), a mother (When You Finish Saving the World), a son (Alma Viva), a father (Aftersun, Sons of Ramses, The Woodcutter Story), the feeling of love (Tasavor, Everybody Loves Jeanne), or love according to Dalva in the eponymous film. While the teenagers in La Jauría have a rather late and wild introduction to it. 

The closing film, Next Sohee, uses crime film to condemn the exploitation of young people (especially women) through temporary jobs and subcontracting. A thrilling modern tale directed by South-Korean director Jung July, the passionate and accurate sketch artist of human nature. 

A special short-film screening comprises a trilogy of sound and fury. An invitation to let various shapes and monsters run free; with Joseph Price’s animation film Scale; Amo, an experimental film by Emmanuel Gras; and Hideous, a musical film by Yann Gonzalez. As the temperature rises, films will make our blood boil and our ears ring. 

We have dug for gold and offer you the most precious nuggets. 

Let’s all rush to the Miramar theatre!


Ava Cahen

Artistic Director