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Saint Omer

Alice Diop | 2022 | 122 MINS
France | Subtitles
Silver Lion winner at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Alice Diop reinvents the courtroom drama in this concentrated, gripping study of a writer and the young African woman whose fate comes to fascinate her.

In Detail

A novelist attends the trial of a woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter by abandoning her to the rising tide on a beach in northern France.

But as the trial continues, her own family history, doubts and fears about motherhood are steadily dislodged as the life story of the accused is gradually revealed. The case, drawn from a real-life 2016 headline-maker in France, is stark and horrifying: legally straightforward, perhaps, but psychologically tumultuous.

This extraordinary film won’t be pushed toward convention, catharsis or conclusion: Diop, like her uncertain observer, is both ally and analyst to one woman’s riveting, unreliable history.

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