Cert: 12A Year: 2022 Length: 122 mins Language: France
A young woman attends the trial of another woman as research for her own project, but gradually comes unstuck as her own emotional chords are struck. "Documentarian Alice Diop's narrative debut 'Saint Omer' is a visually arresting courtroom set drama that explores the similarities (and distinct differences) between two young women of Senegalese descent living in France. Rama (Kayije Kagame), a novelist, feels drawn to the story of Laurence Coly (Guslagie Malanda), a young woman on trial for the murder of her 15-month-old daughter. Both women are academically inclined, with complicated relationships to their own mothers. Both women occupy a liminal space between Senegal and France. While Rama is shown as an accepted academic, Laurence is continually othered, with those observing the trial shocked at her “sophisticated” command of French (to which Rama tells her agent she just sounds like any other educated woman.)" – Marya E Gates, RogerEbert.com.
"Although technically a work of fiction, 'Saint Omer' is fiercely documentary-like in its concerns. The questions it conjures are not the anticipated emotional ones, rather they challenge the audience, asking: what expectations do we carry about a person like Laurence? Do we want to believe that she is evil? Crazy? Is she the product of a 'foreign' culture? Is there someone else in her life that we could pin this on?" – Sophie Monks Kaufman, IndieWire.
Nominated for many awards, this could lead to a very interesting 'outro' in Keswick!
Alice Diop’s documentarian approach to the courtroom drama is fresh and urgent, consistently commanding attention to the women as they speak and listen.
Lillian Crawford, Empire Magazine
Quietly devastating. Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film
The standard for ‘Best of 2023’ lists has already been set. David Jenkins, Little White Lies
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.
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