DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT — Seven years after the Parisian attacks of November 2015, Alice Winocour delivers a comforting and cathartic film in which she probes the broken souls of survivors and their loved ones.
In 2018, in Amanda, Mikhaël Hers weighed the heavy weight of grief on the shoulders of the brother of a victim of an attack, played by Vincent Lacoste. This chronicle of life after, upset by loss and accidental paternity, also told of the dotted return of light in the darkness of mourning. Four years later, Alice Winocour returns in turn, but very differently, to the strategies that everyone deploys, more or less consciously, to give meaning to life when it is upside down. Written among others with the documentary filmmaker Jean-Stéphane Bron, See Paris again presented at the Directors’ Fortnight, is nourished in particular by the experience of the director’s brother, present at the Bataclan on the evening of November 13, 2015.
The attack in the film takes place in a large Parisian brasserie where Mia (Viriginie Efira) has landed by chance while waiting for the end of a storm. Filmed at ground level where, from the first shots, she threw herself among the broken glass and inert bodies, the scene is terrifying. You would think that every face glimpsed that evening before the attack – the mischievous smile of these young Japanese girls taking pictures of their snail shells, the sparkling gaze of this man in front of his birthday cake – would be forever etched in Mia’s retina. On the contrary, three months after the tragedy, his memory is nothing more than a black hole. Hesitant at first, she first sets out to dissipate the opacity of the trauma. Then, when the first ghosts return to him, the first flashes – bursts of images like fragments of bullets – it is a whole macabre puzzle of sensations and sounds that must be pieced together. Here is this professional translator forced to interpret the signals of her mental chaos.
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