French Film Festival

french film festival

About the Movies

RETURN OF THE HERO (Le Retour du héros)

Laurent Tirard / 2018 / 90' / DistriB

In this romantic comedy set in 1809 France, the charming Captain Neuville is set to marry the naïve Pauline when the war breaks out, forcing Neuville to depart for the battlefield. After not hearing from the captain for months, Pauline becomes ill with worry, pushing her sister Elizabeth to write fake letters on behalf of Neuville.


YOUNG AHMED (Le Jeune Ahmed)

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne / 2019 / 84' / Kino Lorber

In a small Belgian town, Ahmed, a Muslim teenager, is being gradually radicalized by a local imam despite the desperate protestations of his single mother. Ahmed winds up hatching a murderous plot targeting his after-school tutor. Brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the Best Director award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for this intimate portrayal-in-furious-motion of a protagonist in crisis.


THE STOPOVER (Voir du pays)

Delphine and Muriel Coulin / 2016 / 102' / First Run Features

On their way home from Afghanistan, a band of French soldiers stop in Cyprus for decompression: three days at a sun-splashed resort, where they will undergo intense psychological debriefing. There, amidst the crystal-blue waters and hordes of vacationing tourists, Marine and Aurore—two of only three women in their male-dominated unit—confront rage, trauma, and sexism as they struggle to readjust to "normal" life. This riveting drama is an all-too-rare exploration of war's psychological wounds on female soldiers.


DILILI IN PARIS (Dilili à Paris)

Michel Ocelot / 2018 / 95' / Samuel Goldwyn

[Collaboration with the Speed Museum and the Louisville Children’s Film Festival]

Travel to the upper reaches and lower depths of Paris in the Belle Epoque with Dilili, a graceful young girl with eagle-eyed smarts, as she investigates mysterious child kidnappings. Together with Orel, a delivery boy who ferries her around the sweeping photorealistic and jewel-toned landscape as only expert animator Michel Ocelot could conceive, Dilili will stop at nothing until justice is restored. Our super sleuths journey through a turn-of-the-century world so evocative, you just might spot Pablo Picasso, Marcel Proust, or Marie Curie. 


COLD WATER (L’Eau froide)

Cold Water (Olivier Assayas / 1994 / 95' / Janus)

[Collaboration with UofL’s Film Liberation Unit]

Drawing from his own youthful experiences, acclaimed French director Olivier Assayas revisits the outskirts of Paris in the early 1970s, telling the story of teenage lovers Gilles and Christine, whose open rebellion against family and society threatens to tear them apart, as Christine is sent to an institution by her parents and Gilles faces an uncertain future after running into trouble at school. With a rock soundtrack that vividly evokes the period, this coming-of-age drama is a heartbreaking immersion into the emotional tumult of adolescence.



Jeanne Herry / 2018 / 107' / DistriB

When baby Theo’s birth mother surrenders him to adoption, child protection officer Karine is called to action, and the harsh realities of the adoption process are pulled into sharp focus. In Safe Hands throws us deep into the milieu of the French social assistance services, where the fate of one baby boy exposes the conflicting conundrums faced by many women—those giving up their babies and those desperate to have their own.

The 2020 University of Louisville French Film Festival is made possible by the Student Activities Board, the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, the French BA and MA programs, the French Club, the Film Liberation Unit, the Speed Art Museum Cinema, and Ms. Nancy Brown.

 Contact: Matthieu Dalle – – (502) 852-6115