Hello All ! I am going to share with you 2 of my favourite French books and 2 of my favourite French films. Feel free to leave your favourites in the comments so I can check them out.
Bleu Blanc Vert – Maïssa Bey
This novel follows the 30-year period following Algeria’s independence through the lives of two Algerians. It starts in 1962 with a girl and a boy and progresses with them as they grow up and begin their adult lives together, the story ends in 1992.
The use of these two characters allows the reader to get a male and female perspective on the same events, which I think is one of the main reasons why this book works so well.
Le Prénom – Matthieu Delaporte & Alexandre de la Patellière
This is a pretty well known French Comedy play which has also been turned into a film.
“Over dinner, Vincent and his sister, Elizabeth gather with their spouses and a childhood friend; however, when Vincent, whose wife is pregnant with their first child, mentions that he has chosen a highly controversial first name for his child, all hell breaks loose.”
It’s very funny and likely to become one of those books that you reread. The script format makes this much easier to read and digest than a novel.
La Haine – Mathieu Kassovitz
“Mais l’important, c’est pas la chute, c’est l’atterrissage”//“What’s important is not the fall. It’s the landing”.
A gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural tensions in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
A young Arab is arrested and beaten unconscious by the police which sparks riots in the notorious suburbs. Aimlessly passing their days on their home turf, the 3 main characters, Vinz, Hubert and Saïd —a Jew, an African, and an Arab—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations. The film follows their simmering resentment at their marginalisation which eventually boils over. This film perfectly demonstrates and holds the mirror up to France’s identity crisis.
I love this film, truly love it. I watched it for the first time whilst in sixth form and fell straight in love with it. I then went onto doing a presentation on the film and the issues it raises, during my undergraduate studies and it shaped my speaking exam topic choices from then on. A must watch !
Untouchable – Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano.
This film is based on the unlikely friendship between a quadriplegic (a person affected by paralysis of all four limbs) French aristocrat and his Arabic ex-con carer. Click here to find out more about them. When you watch the film you’ll realise how nicely the director has included the often amusing and beautiful moments that the pair shared.
In the film, a Parisian aristocrat hires a young man to be his live-in caretaker. Although very different the two men bond and develop a close friendship. This film brings together two people from two very different walks of life, two people that you wouldn’t expect to be friends but nevertheless two people that bring joy to each other’s lives. A feel good film that’ll have you smiling, laughing and potentially crying mostly happy tears. Also, there are some great songs throughout by Earth, Wind & Fire and the wonderful pianist Ludovico Einaudi.
What’s your favourite French book and/or film? Let me know in the comments
Until next time !