Before anything else Benjamin Barois (Vincent Lacoste) should have seen the literal writing on the wall. The young intern with Josh Grobin’s curly hair and boyish face tries to find his hospital assigned quarters. He walks through a dingy hallway lit by dusty fluorescent lamps. There’s graffiti all over, he passes a green door having a penis drawn with a marker. Benjamin finds his room and sees the words written above his bed: “Your future depends on your dreams. Don’t waste time.” Beside it as if in response, “Go to bed.”
HIPPOCRATE (English title Hippocrates) is one of many titles in the French Film Festival running from June 3 to 9, 2015 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati City and at the Bonifacio High Street cinemas in Taguig. Similar to last year, tickets for each screening are priced at P100.00 to cover the operational costs of the cinema. Tickets are available at the box office or through http://www.sureseats.com. Log on to visit www.frenchfilmfest.com for schedules and synopses of films.
Nothing in med school could have prepared Benjamin for the challenges of internship. Just like anywhere, he finds out the hard way the best medical solution isn’t what is applied in the real world. Doctors always have to make life and death decisions but only if it was THAT simple. There are so many other things going on that prevent them from giving the ‘best’ care and even that is never clear cut. Sometimes the best treatment is to ease the pain of a dying patient. Economics, budgetary constraints, lack of qualified staff all contribute to sometimes disastrous consequences.
Lead actor Vincent Lacoste was also recently cast in ASTERIX AND OBELIX: GOD SAVE BRITANNIA with Gérard Depardieu (Obelix) and Catherine Deneuve as the Queen of England, Lacoste was cast as Goudurix. For his role in THE FRENCH KISSERS he won the Lumières Award for Most Promising Actor.
In almost every scene, patients and staff watch medical TV series HOUSE, often criticizing his theories and diagnoses but are otherwise glued to the drama. The statement is that real world problems aren’t’ truly resolved within the confines of the 45 minute TV episode. Which is true not just in the film but everywhere else.
Everyone’s just trying to get by doing the best they can. Overworked doctors release pent up stress by smoking and the occasional party. Abdel Rezza (Reda Kateb) is a French Algerian doctor trying to establish himself in Paris. In real life Kateb is the grandnephew of the Algerian writer Kateb Yacine. His portrayal of Abdel, serious demeanor reveals his determination to earn enough money to bring his wife and daughter to France. He played the role balancing the bookish nature with natural concern for patients. Kateb was rewarded with the Cesar award for Best Supporting Actor.
Marianne Denicourt plays the tough Hospital administrator Dr. Denormandy. Her undeniably attractive Gaelic features make her an even more intimidating figure. Those deep-set blue eyes with dark brown hair commands attention more than her lofty position. Denicourt is a screenwriter, actor and director. She has 2 documentaries to her credit both fighting for women’s rights in Afghanistan: A HOUSE IN KABUL and NASSIMA, A CONFISCATED LIFE.
This year’s selection in the French Film festival has something for everyone from animation for the kids 108 Rois-Démons (108 Demon-Kings) to comedies ME MYSELF & MUM and DANS LA COUR (In the Courtyard). But I am personally excited to watch the action packed LA FRENCH. The original French Connection starring Gene Hackman was one of the first films to elevate the car chase in the 1970s. This 2014 version promises to be more glamorized and larger than life, with more complex action sequences. No American cops here only Jean Dujardin as a new magistrate trying to battle the most powerful international heroin ring. Dujardin won the Oscar Best Actor for THE ARTIST. The result is a cooler, suave hero in the French tradition.