French film festival sparks discussion of social issues

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The Tournees Film Festival, taking place a couple blocks from Pacific University’s campus at the Forest Theater, has brought conversation about different social issues, sparked by French films to dozens of students, faculty and community members. The festival’s films show every week from Oct. 4- Nov. 15. Each week’s film addresses a different social issue.

The idea behind the festival is to “Bring more international films to our community to get students engaged in discussions and stories from a broad variety of angles,” according to French professor, Jeanne-Sarah de Larquier, who has organized the festival. Each week, before or after the screening, there is a discussion about the film’s specific topic facilitated by a staff or faculty member with expertise in that subject. So far, Larquier has been pleased with both the attendance and discussions at the screenings.

“There has been a lot of reflection and thought from the students after each film,” Larquier said.

The festival is being funded by a grant Larqueir was given from the French government along with donations from various student clubs.
To choose which films the festival would feature, Larquier consulted with colleagues, then selected the festival’s seven films from a list she was given when she applied for the grant.

There are three screenings left in the festival. Fatima, which revolves around French immigration, will show Nov. 1. Homeland Iraq shows in two parts, on Nov. 8 and 9 and focuses on life in Iraq following the US invasion in 2003. The festival’s final film, Frantz, is about French-German relationships after World War I and will show Nov. 15. Larquier is confident that attendance at the screenings will only grow.

“There is a good cross-campus enthusiasm about the festival from students and faculty,” Larquier said.

Larquier is also excited about the final three films themselves and the conversations they will provoke.

“Fatima has had a lot of positive reviews and is critically acclaimed and so is ‘Frantz,’” Larquier said. “What’s good about those last two is they reach out to broad audience. They aren’t specialized for any one group.” As for Homeland Iraq, Larquier is particularly excited for the discussion led by Political Science professor Jim Moore, who is exceptionally knowledgeable “the situation in Iraq, which is the premise of the movie.”


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