Building a French connection

Building a French connection

on screen

Building a French connection

Movie buffs in the City were recently treated to an evening of French cinema at the Alliance Francaise. The evening screened 38 Temoins (‘38 Witnesses’), a thriller based on a best-selling novel by Didier Decoin called Est-ce Ainsi Que Les Femmes Meurent, which was a cover-up on the 1964 Kitty Genovese murder case in New York.

The film, directed by Lucas Belvaux, is an exploration of the limits of social responsibility. The story revolves around Lousie (played by Sophie Quinton), who returns home after a business trip to China to discover that the night before a woman was brutally murdered in front of her building. The police have cordoned off the site and questioned the residents.
However, all of them claim that they did not see or hear anything including Louise’s
husband, Pierre (portrayed by Yvan Attal), who works late into the night and would have returned home around the time of the murder. The 104 minute-long film, which was released in 2012, also stars Nicole Garcia, Natalie Baye and Natacha Regnier.

Interestingly, the film was also nominated for the 2013 Cesar Award for best adaptation.

According to Anuradha Narayan, head of cultural and communication, at Alliance Francaise, there is a French film screened every month. “We screen a French film every month and it is usually on a Wednesday. That’s because we want people to associate a particular day with French cinema,” she explains. Every month, the films are chosen from a different genre. “We want to reach out to as many people as we can. There are a lot of people who love cinema and we would like to have more of it here,” she adds.

Pointing out to the thriller that was chosen this time, Anuradha says that the film was about public apathy.

“Since we chose a film with a sombre theme this time, we may opt for a comedy next time,” she said. 

The quick pace of the film and the suspense kept the audience glued to the screen. “It is the first time I’m coming for the screening. I have heard a lot about the novel which is why I'm here. I enjoyed the movie,” says Prabha, an audience member.