The Names of Love
In this witty satire, French filmmaker Michel Leclerc establishes himself as a great comic chronicler of contemporary French-Jewish life. A triumph at this year's Cannes Film Festival, this delightful film is about a fortysomething Jewish scientist who falls in love with a flamboyant Algerian beauty.
He is the unassuming son of a Frenchman and a Jewish mother whose parents perished in the Holocaust. She is the impassioned daughter of a 1970s Parisian hippie and an Algerian immigrant worker. After an initial spat on a radio show, the pair falls in love.
Though such a romance may seem improbable, the film's wonderful conceit is that these two characters, whose families were afflicted by two of the worst tragedies in recent French history - the Vichy régime for the Martins and the Algerian War for the Benmahmouds - are, in fact, destined to form a perfect couple. Ah, if only life could be so simple!
With Jacques Gamblin (star of many Claude Lelouch films, as well as Jacques Becker's Children of the Marshlands
) as Arthur, and the incandescent Sara Forestier as Bahia.