The Together Project (L’effet aquatique) directed by Sólveig Anspach (France/Iceland, 2016, 95 min.).
This odd and utterly charming romantic comedy follows a French-Arab construction worker named Samir who falls head over heels for Agathe, a fiery swim instructor. To get to know Agathe better, Samir signs up for swim classes despite knowing perfectly well how to swim. When Agathe discovers the rouse, she wants nothing more to do with him; but Samir follows her to a conference in Iceland, posing as a lifeguard from Israel. What follows is a series of mix-ups and catastrophes set against a backdrop of the ravishing Icelandic countryside, where the locals are eager to bring Samir and Agathe together by any means necessary. The final film from the late director Sólveig Anspach (Queen of Montreuil), The Together Project is infused with the auteur’s French-Icelandic heritage, her cool aesthetic, and her cheerfully zany worldview. The film was screened in the Director’s Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and won the César Award for Best Original Screenplay.
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