LA COLLECTIONNEUSE: Innocence

Co-presented by the French Film & TV Office

After party with tunes by MASHA and drinks, treats and photobooth: put on your best schoolgirl/boy or teacher outfit!

* Free French wine tasting, thanks to Loire Valley USA!

* Photo booth by DOSSHAUS!

Solemn children performing rituals in matching white uniforms is usually a good indication you’re not watching a romantic comedy, and trust us, you’re not. Idyllic summer camp vibes gradually decay into unexplained fear, as frolicking little girls train each other to obey unseen authorities and escape is gently forbidden. This highly choreographed, hyper-minimal gothic fever dream sinks through levels of surreality (doe-eyed kids enter the campus in coffins; ballerinas perform for a murmuring audience of shadows; playtime imperceptibly shifts to unmotivated violence) until it comes full circle and appears alarmingly real. Based on the novella by Frank Wedekind, two of whose stage plays became Tony-winner Spring Awakening and German silent classic Pandora’s Box, Innocence won top honors at Stockholm Film Festival for director Lucile Hadžihalilović and cinematographer Benoît Debie, who also collaborated on Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void. Marion Cotillard’s tragic elegance matches the film’s; she nurtures the children and punishes them in a stately world of propriety, where tranquility and opulence give way to a strange, hidden brutality.

Dir. Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2004, 35mm, 122 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!