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Suite Armoricaine – Past still present

“Suite Armoricaine” – Pascale Breton

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Let us make ours a metaphor cherished by Pascale Breton. Quoting Heraclitus, her characters compare time with a child shooting marbles. Playful, unpredictable and… multidirectional. Surrendering to time’s elasticity could somehow make more tolerable the long interval since her debut feature Illumination enchanted attentive cinephiles, in 2004. A rather unique film, which demands to be rediscovered, it finally has a successor, born with a wisdom and sensitivity out of the ordinary.

An ambitious psychological and sentimental chronicle, Suite Armoricaine follows the steps of Françoise (Valérie Dréville), an expert in art history who returns to her native town in Brittany to teach at the university where she had been a student. Although she barely remembers her former schoolmates, she finds out that most of them never left and have been expecting the homecoming of “the Parisian” with curiosity. She doesn’t notice at first that one student, Ion (Kaou Langoët), has that eye for beauty she seeks to nurture. A gift perhaps inherited from his mother, Moon (Elina Löwensohn), a passionate girl turned homeless because the shores of Hell were too seductive. It is of Moon that Françoise used to be the most fond, though, and echoes of a distant, magical time begin to resurface.

Pascale Breton attends to her fascinating characters with equal tenderness, their respective points of view prompting a few jumps in time and variations of angles. Because, if a single mind isn’t able to fully grasp the importance of a moment, its friction with others might well be the key to galvanizing comprehension and a failing memory. To Coda, a tempo.

Aurélie Godet

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