Dir. Jean-Gabriel Périot, 2021, France, 83 min, DCP, color
Narration: Adèle Haenel
In French with English subtitles
Directors’ Fortnight, 2021 Cannes Film Festival
Currents Section, 2021 NYFF
Loosely based on Didier Eribon’s book Returning to Reims, the film relays the personal story of Eribon’s mother and grandmother within the larger political context of the French working class.
Actress Adèle Haenel gives the film a personal touch with voice overs, while filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot expertly utilizes archival footage, film clips, and TV news reports to illustrate the political, economic and social changes facing French society—both in the past, and today.
“What makes Retour so fascinating is the mixture of personal memory and historical research. But most intriguing is the parallel rail of film and commentary: the seventh art as a witness of history. Brilliant.” – Filmuforia