April in France: Discovering New Worlds

English Daily #2
April in France (David Boaretto, France, 2023), Full-Length Films Competition, 10-7 20:00 Moscow Cinema Blue Hall, 11-7 10:00 House of Cinema Grand Hall

During a trip to France, film director David Boaretto and his five-year-old daughter April find themselves self-isolating in a Parisian apartment as the COVID pandemic brings the world to a standstill. From a tablet screen, Emmanuel Macron is thanking healthcare workers and everybody else, while once again extending the lockdown period. April, struggling with boredom, dreams of returning home and even prays to Peter Pan to whisk her back. Back to Britain. However, her journey takes an unexpected turn. Instead of heading to London, she finds herself transported to a small medieval village in Gascony, southwestern France.

As she gets to know the villagers, April hears many stories about her great-grandfather. After visiting his grave, she even starts talking to her ancestor, somewhat magically reviving him for the audience as well. She engages with cats and roosters, endows inanimate objects with human qualities. April's keen eye catches fleeting details that adults often overlook. The simple observations of the child are strikingly unerring. David Boaretto’s camera serves a dual purpose here: it meticulously observes April while also attempting to capture the world through her eyes. We follow not only the girl’s transformation and growth but also how she inadvertently changes the world around her.

Alexander Melyan