Just Saw My First French Film (in France)

It was SO French haha. I was trying to contain laughter at the end because I straight-up couldn’t believe just how French that movie was (Ce Que le Jour Droit à la Nuit). For those of you who aren’t familiar, French films tend to be really artistically depressing. Happy endings? Nope. Literally, my first thought when I saw how the film was going to go was, “What the hell happened to this country?” Because, I mean, it’s a cultural thing. The French people aren’t really that great at making the traditional “happy ending” film that Americans are familiar with. And really, I mean, it’s fairly recent I think. I mean, there has always been a tendency for bitter-sweetness in French literature, but it’s definitely gotten worse. Ever since the two world wars that just destroyed this country’s optimism. And I don’t mean to say that France is a depressed country. Not at all. They live some of the most beautiful lives I think of anyone. They are simple lives that take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and I think that is really one of the greatest faults of American culture, the fact that we don’t tend to enjoy those really simple things. Like food, friends, family, communication. The fact that America is known for McDonalds is, I think, a testament to that. I mean, I haven’t even seen a McDonald’s in Aix.

But get this. The first world war impacted the French more than the second. And the second time they didn’t just fight the Germans, the were INVADED. Think about that. Being invaded by an authoritarian government was less bad than just fighting a war. That’s bad guys. Real bad.

And it still echoes. In literature, movies, “la mode de vie” (how you live), how they treat life here. They still believe in love here. Like Romance-era love. You know. The kind where the main character waits his whole life to be with one woman he loved like forty years ago. The culture still believes in that. But at the same time, if this movie is anything to go by, they don’t put much faith in things changing after forty years. It won’t change so that they guy gets over it. It won’t change so he does something to fix it, the problem just remains unfixable until they die, at which point all the ridiculous crap that separated them in life falls apart and it’s all “happy.”

I’m sorry people. But life doesn’t suck that bad.

Anyway. It was a good film. And it made me think. About love, life and the shit people have done to others. Arab-French tensions were another big feature in the movie. And there was a whole big thing about “Algeria is my country too.” And that’s true. That’s the terrible truth because even if you believe in the place you live, you can’t refuse that right to people who lived there before you, who still live there. And you can’t treat them like less-than-humans. Because when they rise up and take back what was always there, you lose more than just a house.

Haha. And now the post gets serious. Sorry.

But at the same time, maybe it should.


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