In some family ensemble dramas, the mother is the pump that keeps things flowing. Here, she's the cause of stagnation, rot and inertia, as she passes away some 20 minutes into the story, leaving behind her a request that her impoverished family bury her in Jefferson, her hometown.
It’s great to see an African story being told by an African filmmaker and cast, for a mainstream global audience. Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel, ‘Half a Yellow Sun’ is set during the Nigerian-Biafran war in the late 1960s, and follows two middle class Nigerian twins as their settled lives are torn apart by the conflict.
François Ozon tiptoes gracefully through a minefield in with the story of a 17-year-old girl, Isabelle (former model Marine Vacth), from a comfortable Parisian background, who decides to become a high-class prostitute in between school and negotiating the normal ups and downs of family life.
The ‘dare’ strand confronts the audience with striking visions and difficult topics. This year’s films include James Franco’s tricksy take on a classic American novel, another stark vision of modern relationships from London-based director Joanna Hogg and the latest provocation from the crafty Francois Ozon.