University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

Festival of Films in French returns to UWM in February


By - Jan 21st, 2020 10:00 am

MILWAUKEE _ Prepare for a bon temps as the 23rd annual Festival of Films in French returns to Milwaukee in February.

The festival runs Feb. 14-23, 2020, with films showing nightly in the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema. Entrance to the festival is free and open to the public. All films are shown in French and other languages with English subtitles.

Love and rebellion are in the air in this year’s lineup of 16 films. The festival begins by celebrating Valentine’s Day with two powerful queer love stories: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) and “Olivia” (1951).

Other films in the lineup range across time and the globe. In “Zombi Child” (2019), the story alternates between contemporary Paris and earlier periods in Haiti. Audiences travel to Senegal in “Yao” (2019) and to the deep woods of Québec in “And the Birds Rained Down,” where love blossoms at any age in trying circumstances. A politically weary Israeli in “Synonyms” (2019) and a Moroccan chef in “Tazzeka” (2018) set their sights on Paris as a lifeline, in contrast to a graphic designer leaving the capital to pursue farming in Normandy in the documentary “A Modern Shepherdess” (2018).

In two documentaries, audiences meet witnesses of the anti-colonial revolt in “Fahavalo, Madagascar,” 1947 (2018) (presented by the filmmaker in person), and a filmmaker “Ziva Postec: The Editor Behind the Film Shoah” (2018). Our silent film evening offers two early examples of revolutionary techniques in editing, “La cigarette” (1919) and “Emak Bakia” (1926), and the festival explores the challenges of modern love in Agnès Varda’s “Happiness” (1965) and Serge Gainsbourg’s “I Love You, I Don’t” (1976).

Finally, in an earlier classic film “Forbidden Games” (1952) and the stop-motion comedy drama “My Life as a Zucchini” (2016), brave orphans offer us inspiring models for confronting hardship and finding our place in the world.

The festival is supported in part by partners from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and community partners including Dr. Richard Stone, the Québec Government Office in Chicago, the Alliance Française of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee French Immersion School and the Southeast Wisconsin Academic Alliance in French.

For a full schedule and description of films, visit

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