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Opening with a warm reception (and plenty of wine and cheese), the Alliance Française French Film Festival officially kicked off last night at Palace Cinema Paradiso with a preview screening of The Extraordinary.
French films are usually known to be more striking and raw, and this film is no exception. Directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, the comedic drama delves into the unheard, heartfelt stories of severely autistic youths and their dedicated carers in modern-day Paris. Even more remarkably, it’s based on the true story of Stéphane Benhamou, who runs a shelter where he takes in and cares for autistic youths.
Though commonly outcasted by society, the youths find their footing at the shelter and are given the chance to shine. Protagonists Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) create an incomparable sense of family within their shelter, and most importantly, show us exactly what humanity and equality truly mean. There are hard-hitting as well as beautiful moments, which all combine to deliver an honest and touching narrative. The Extraordinary simply tugs at your heartstrings and leaves you in awe of the real-life heroes brought to life in this film.
For those who love foreign cinema, it is highly recommended that you head along to catch a movie or two. Whether you’re a classified cinephile or you’re looking to touch up on your French, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has you covered!