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Les Yeux Clairs

Start with some French provincial realism, add a touch of Chaplin, and there you have Les Yeux Clairs. Fanny lives in a small, provincial town, with her brother and sister-in-law. Afflicted with a m...

Start with some French provincial realism, add a touch of Chaplin, and there you have Les Yeux Clairs.

Fanny lives in a small, provincial town, with her brother and sister-in-law. Afflicted with a mild mental illness, she leads a quiet, mundane existence until she discovers that her brother’s wife is having an affair. In a panic, she steals her brothers car, with the intention of heading to Germany, to visit the grave of her father.

But before she can reach her destination, Fanny— and the film— are changed by an encounter with Oskar, a woodsman who speaks no French. Thus the second half of the film is essentially silent (hence the Chaplin reference), as Fanny and Oskar embark on a tentative relationship. Les Yeux Clairs is an emotionally evocative film, ranging from tender and sad to sweet and funny.

“What touched me,” says director Jérôme Bonnell, “was the idea of treating Fanny’s ‘madness’ as above all, the expression of a wound. It is the story of someone who never knew how to communicate, yet who is saved by love.”

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