À la Vie(To Life) by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann (France, 2014, 104 min.). Veteran French director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann (He’s My Girl, Man is a Woman, Not Everybody’s Lucky Enough to Have Communist Parents,) sets his engaging new drama in postwar Paris where Helene (Julie Depardieu), a young Auschwitz survivor rebuilds her life while searching for her friends Lily and Rose (Johanna ter Steege, Suzanne Clement). When the women are finally reunited, they share a watershed vacation in the seaside town north of Berck-Plage, enjoying the intimacies of life, love, faith. This emotionally complex film about the sustaining power of women’s friendship, was inspired by the director’s mother and her annual seashore vacation with the friends she made in the camps. In French with English subtitles. New England Premiere.
“Zilberman’s À la Vie is delicate and profound, just like his mother’s gaze probably was, and with respect it tells us about the womens’ first meeting after the hell that was the concentration camp. The week they spend together on the French coast is an infectious ode to life, a collective ritual to overcome the horror through friendship, irony, the most intimate confessions and a desire to look towards the future,” Cineuropa.