C’est ça l’amour

Evyrthing is better in the East

Film. Emotional chronicle of a family rebuilding itself who defies stereotypes. Claire Burger’s film received the Crystal Arrow at Les Arcs European Cinema Festival, while Bouli Lanners won the Best male actor award.

By Perrine Quennesson

Reading time 3 min.

C’est ça l’amour

de Claire Burger

Bande Annonce

Stereotypes, Claire Burger doesn’t like them very much. In 2014, she already directed (with Marie Amachoukeli and Samuel Théis) a film going against what we could have expected with its title: Party GirlFrom this Golden Camera awarded film in Cannes stood out the picture of a free, strong and melancholic sexagenarian, aware of what she projected and what she was. Working alone for C’est ça l’amour, the director makes the portrait of a man and his daughters, up against it and ready to take control of their existence. As in her previous short films, it was shot in Forbach, where the director is from. And through her camera, the former mining town in the East of France becomes the lab of the resurgence of clichés on femininity and masculinity.

Crystal Arrow

at the Les Arcs

European Cinema Festival

Mario, who’s in his early fifties, is completely lost. His wife, to whom he was married for twenty years, decided to break free. Far from judging her, he stays here alone and has to take care of his two daughters, Niki, 17 years old, honest but inflexible, and Frida, 14 years old, looking for a meaning in her existence.

Bouli Lanners embodies this lost father and disorientated lover with an elegance we didn’t expect from him. Full with emotions, and never afraid to dive into them so as to show the wandering of his character, looking for love and ready to give it, he’s just overwhelming. Far from the cliché of the vengeful husband feeling sorry for himself, he’s just that shaken man who needs to rethink his relation to himself and to the others. Especially to his daughters. Present dad but clumsy, he’s facing two young girls who are changing. The first one is about to become an adult sometimes too strict in her conception of relationships. The second one has just begun to be a preteen, tests her limits and the ones of her father while discovering her desire for girls.

They are all confronted to love, and its failures, its beautiful moments, its passion and its violence. By turns persecutors and victims, our trio learns to manage and express their feelings. Especially Mario, who starts to take theatre class, and then realizes his body is not just a tool but also a medium for emotions. And that, just like in tales, a kiss is often revealing.

  • Bouli lanners
  • Claire burger
  • Festival

See also