The 20th French Film Festival will be held on June 3-9 at Greenbelt and Bonifacio High Street cinemas
For 20 years the annual French Film Festival has given Manila’s moviegoers a break from their constant diet of blockbuster blandness (Tomorrowland: well-intentioned, preachy, Is George Clooney running for office?) with entertaining but intellectually-stimulating films in the French language. We saw our first Eric Rohmer (The Baker Girl of Monceau), Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion, Claude Chabrol’s La Ceremonie and dozens of other great movies at the French Filmfest.
This year’s edition will be held at the Greenbelt Cinemas and at the Bonifacio High Street Central Cinemas. This morning we attended a media preview of one of the films: Thomas Lilti’s Hippocrate. The title is especially apt. The filmmaker, a doctor, asks how medical practitioners can serve their patients properly when hospitals are under pressure to turn a profit. There are constant budget cuts, doctors are overworked, facilities are poorly-maintained, but revenue targets must be met and it’s the patients who suffer. In one case, an old woman with late stage cancer is deprived of morphine because the hospital is less concerned with making her last days comfortable than with getting her on her feet so her room will be vacated.
Hippocrate stars Vincent Lacoste, who looks like a less nervous Jesse Eisenberg, as Benjamin, who starts his internship in a hospital run by his father. There he meets Abdel, an Algerian doctor who must undergo the internship all over again in order to practice in France. Abdel is played by Reda Kateb from Un Prophete and Zero Dark Thirty and he takes over the movie. If you’re a doctor, working in the medical industry, or have ever been a patient, we recommend you see this.
We are especially looking forward to Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu
and Aki Kaurismaaki’s Le Havre.
Tickets at Php100, available at the box-office or at sureseats.com assuming it’s working because we haven’t been able to book anything there for months.