LE BONHEUR D’ELZA
ELZA

DIRECTOR
Mariette Monpierre

SCREENPLAY
Mama Keïta, Mariette Monpierre

CAST
Elza: Stana Roumillac
Mr. Désiré: Vincent Byrd Le Sage
Bernard: Christophe Cherki
Mrs. Désiré: Sophie Berger
Caroline: Eva Constant

AWARDS
Best First Time Feature Director, Jury Award – Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival (2012). Paul Robeson Award – FESPACO (2013)

GENRE
Drama

DISTRIBUTOR
OverEasy Productions

Running time 78’
Production France, 2011
Rating Not Rated
Gauge Beta SP, Blu-ray, DVCam PAL, DVD, HDCam

“Bathed in the flamingo colors and Caribbean rhythms of its location, this deeply personal debut from the writer and director Mariette Monpierre develops with a lingering attention to sensation and sound.”
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

Mariette Monpierre casts herself in a small but crucial role at the beginning of her wondrous, highly personal directorial debut: she plays Bernadette, the mother of Elza (the magnetic Stana Roumillac), a talented university graduate who breaks Bernadette’s heart when she decides to leave their Paris apartment to return to Guadeloupe, her birthplace. Elza’s voyage to this Caribbean island is motivated by her desire to seek out her father, whom she barely remembers. But this reunion requires particular sleuthing skills; one of the film’s many delights is its heroine’s Nancy Drew–like smarts and persistence. Posing as a baby-sitter for her unsuspecting father’s six-year-old granddaughter, Elza confronts ugly truths: Monsieur Désiré, as her philandering business-tycoon dad is known, despises those with skin darker than his own. His bigotry is all too painfully revealed when he later says to Elza, “With your kinky hair, you couldn’t be my daughter.” Monpierre’s film astutely works on two levels: as a searing melodrama uncovering the racial prejudices that still exist among formerly colonized peoples, and as a luxuriant, inspiring tale of one young woman’s quest to understand her past in one of the most beautiful places on earth.



 

 

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