fbpx

Haut les cœurs

Battle Cries

With a background in documentaries, director S’lveig Anspach continues to confront some of life’s most sobering realities – parenthood, serious illness – in this semi-autobiographical first feature. The central character, Emma (Karin Viard), is a young woman who is expecting her first child when she learns she has breast cancer. A doctor advises Emma to have an abortion, claiming that the cancer treatment would adversely affect her pregnancy. Shattered by the news, Emma is on the verge of sacrificing the child when her lover, Simon (Laurent Lucas), persuades her to challenge the diagnosis and pursue an alternative form of treatment. The film’s success is due in large measure to the remarkable Karin Viard (Tatie Danielle, La haine, La nouvelle Eve), who has emerged as one of France’s most versatile and engaging actresses. The role of the forthright and resourceful Emma was tailored at script stage for Viard, whose openness is matched by Anspach’s direction. The film never flinches from showing the distress caused by Emma’s cancer, and yet this unsentimental approach is deeply moving.

France, 1999.
English subtitles.
Colour.
Dolby stereo SR.
110 mins.

Screenings

Cinema Calendar