Director: Anne Weil and Philippe Kotlarski
Cast: Soko, Jérémie Lippmann, Vladimir Fridman, Ania Bukstein
Country: France / Canada / Germany / Russia, 2013
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Duration: 92 minutes
Anne Weil and Philippe Kotlarski make their directorial debut with the powerful political thriller Friends From France.
Set in the USSR in 1979, the film follows young engaged couple Carole (Stéphanie Sokolinski a.k.a Soko) and Jérôme (Jérémie Lippman) on a vacation to Odessa. Or at least that is their cover story…
They are actually Jewish cousins, on a secret mission to help ‘refuseniks’, Jews persecuted by the Soviet regime for wanting to leave the country. Together they explore the dangerous world of Brezhnev’s Russia, filled with dark undercurrents – a place where it’s dangerous to trust anyone.
Offering a window into a troubling and overlooked place and time, Friends From France also develops into a love story that takes a detour into unexpected territory. The film’s compelling balancing act between the political and the personal is reminiscent of works by Jane Campion and Andrea Arnold, and is a tense examination of risk and obsession.