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LIFE IS A VERY STRANGE THING

Year: 2017

Classification: PG

Runtime: 80 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Les McLaren, Annie Stiven

Produced By: Les McLaren, Annie Stiven

Language: French and English

Website: www.verystrangething.com/

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NOW IN CINEMAS:

SYDNEY: Roseville Cinema,
Wednesday 23 May, 8pm:

for bookings go to: tickets.demand.film/event/4462

CANBERRA: Arc Cinema, National Film & Sound Archive, Wednesday 6 June, 6.30pm:
for bookings go to: shop.nfsa.gov.au/wed-6-june-6.30pm-life-is-a-very-strange-thing

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Please note: DVD release will follow cinema screenings, date to be advised. Pre-orders welcome through the Ronin Films website, or to

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Australian filmmakers, Les McLaren and Annie Stiven, arrange to meet an old friend in Paris.

They had first met Frédéric when he had been a young rebel, and an ethnomusicologist in Papua New Guinea. They had then lost contact but in the intervening years, Frederic had become the executive of a multinational garbage business. After decades abroad he’d returned to a France that is on edge with terror attacks, and shaken by the rise of nationalist politics.

Frédéric is a wily raconteur and collector, and his daily encounters with local characters in Paris and Bordeaux reveal a rich mosaic of life in France today.

We learn about Frédéric's grandfather who had been a colonial governor in Cambodia; and we meet his composer father, Charles Duvelle, whose recordings of traditional African music had helped to found the World Music movement. We also meet Frédéric's niece Elvire, a Femen activist who protests against social injustice and the Far Right.

The film is part road trip, part meditation - a wry and affectionate portrait from an outsider's perspective, with questions of what it is to be French in the 21st century.

VIEW THE TRAILER: vimeo.com/236844976

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“It’s become rare for documentary to not be topic driven nor about some crisis; this is as refreshing as a glass of good French wine.”

- Judith MacDougall, filmmaker

“Entertaining and moving. An unusual yet successful mix of documentary bio-pic, social history and light comedy. Avoiding usual clichés, you travel through France to discover a wonderful portrait of the country today. Bravo et merci!”

- Melanie Blanquine, Brisbane Director, Alliance Francaise French Film Festival

“I haven't seen such a brilliantly crafted film for a long time. The encounter with the central character and the whole cast of people around him is delightful … it carries us into the life of metropolitan France today with an intimacy that is thoroughly enjoyable.”

- David MacDougall, filmmaker & film scholar, Australian National University

"Thought your film was a very engaging and sophisticated essay. Hard to make a visually sustained film like this, but you did, through terrific editing. Great not to be told what to think and to have such an allusive, rich, cinematically literate film that worked on a number of levels - I particularly liked the way every 'trivial' moment connoted the historical past (personal and/or political). Very French. I thought of Rouch and Morin, 'Chronique d'un ete', and of Chris Marker. No bullshit. Hope it's widely seen and appreciated."

- Professor Philip Bell, film scholar

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