Final Thoughts From Day 2 FFF 2012


Mohamed Fellag as Monsieur Lazhar

As Day 2 comes to a close, I realize my misgivings about this year’s festival were unfounded. It has turned out to be one of the best days I have ever had at the FFF. I decide to see one last film and interview a few more festival patrons.

Doris says Mamitas was great. I agree. Jason says he is with a great date. I’m not sure if that means he has paid any attention to the films or if he is just trying to impress her. Whatever, it’s time to go into the theatre for my last movie of the day.

Monsieur Lazhar
The theatre is almost at capacity. It’s been so busy this year that most films are getting started incredibly late. This is very unusual at the FFF. But I don’t see how it could be avoided. Just exiting the theatre from Mamitas took about 10 minutes because the patrons couldn’t push past the crowds outside the theatre waiting to enter to see Monsieur Lazhar. As I look over the auditorium, I see something unique in a movie theatre. Every seat across each row is completely filled. None of them are empty. Usually, at a normal movie, there are gaps between parties. Not at the FFF. Is it the common bond of love for film that allows us to feel comfortable sitting closer to one another?

The lights dim and Monsieur Lazhar begins. This film was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film last year so it’s very popular. A hush falls over the theatre…

The movie is very well done. The title role requires just the right touch of subtlety and depth. Mohamed Fellag provides a sublime performance that is a joy to watch. It’s a good film. I didn’t think it lived up to all the accolades that preceded it. The story was somewhat simplistic yet very moving. Others in the theatre were even more impressed.

“It was great.” “Very moving,” said Kasey and Colleen.

“I thought it was excellent, I liked it,” noted Dawson. “It was a very touching story.”

“Films like this should go beyond best foreign language and into best picture,” said Ken.

A trio of women approach me as I’m conducting my interviews. “It was touching,” said Flora Torra. Her friend, Therese Murphy, confirmed that was her real name and went on to say, “it was beautiful.” “It was moving,” chimed in Rosario. Then, turning away from the film Flora blurts out, “These are great names for a blog,” referring to Flora, Therese and Rosario. “No one’s ever heard of these names.”

“It was beautiful. It was peaceful. And it had a fabulous message,” said Kerry. Her friend Sandy replied, “You said it all. I loved it.”

For me, I loved this day at the FFF and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

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