French film brings the community together and creates conversation

By Danielle Tyson

The Albertine Cinémathèque French film festival continued on Feb. 24 with a Zoom screening of “A Dramatic Film.” The second annual film festival was sponsored by the Rider University Libraries, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, the Department of Film and Television, the Center of Diversity and Inclusion and the Mercer County Library.

The movie followed the lives of 22 kids living in the improvised areas surrounding Paris.

All of the kids were given cameras and created vignettes of them coming of age, growing up and learning about themselves.

In the film, the students were allowed to be heard and create spontaneously.

“I think one of the things that was seen is a childlike viewpoint in the world and how simplistic a child’s view could make looking at the world, adults complicate issues,”  said Sharon Whitfield, electronic resources and user access librarian for the Moore Library. “These kids take very complex issues and simplify them. What I would like people to take away from these movies is just a new lens on seeing different issues.”

Throughout the screening, viewers had the opportunity to witness the beauty within the innocence of these children. 

The children show a side of France that most people choose to not see: impoverished areas, litter on the streets and homeless immigrants passing through.

“A Dramatic Film” is the third of the six films that are within this series of films that will be shown throughout the film festival.  

The film festival facilitates conversation and helps encourage discussion and create questions within the viewer since individuals have the chance to discuss after the screenings.

Mary Poteau-Tralie hosts a discussion with the audience after the viewing of the movie. Photo by Danielle Tyson.

“Rider University Libraries is committed to fostering lifelong learning in its students and the surrounding community. Rider University also fosters global perspectives in its curricula so our students will be responsible citizens in an international and culturally diverse world,” said Melissa Hofmann, associate professor librarian for Moore Library. “Also, multicultural competency for the entire University community is a goal in our inclusive excellence. The Albertine Cinémathèque Film Festival is an exciting and engaging avenue to all of these goals, appealing to a wide audience.”

The next film, “35 Shots of Rum,” will be shown via Zoom on March 10 at 6:30 p.m. 

“We want Albertine to really open up the Rider community, also the Mercer County library community, to things that they are not going to see while utilizing just a streaming service,” said Whitfield.

The film festival continues to be virtual this year, so it is easier for students and community members to attend. 

“I think it increases attendance,” said Hoffman. “It’s a hard balance because it’s hard to get people to come to things on campus.” 

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