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Fran├žois Ozon

Films by French auteur François Ozon (Swimming Pool, Jeune et Jolie, My New Girlfriend) always seem to have a trick up their sleeve as they explore the secret lives of characters and the mysterious impact they have on those who surround them. This is certainly true of Frantz, his latest opus.

"Anna soon finds herself drawn to the mysterious man..."

In a small town in rural Germany after the First World War, Anna (Paula Beer) is mourning the death of her fiancé Frantz, who was killed in battle. But her sombre existence with Frantz’s grief-stricken parents is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious stranger, who she glimpses laying flowers on Frantz’s grave. This is Adrian (Pierre Niney), a Frenchman, who later tells Anna that he and Frantz were friends in Paris during their student days. Wary at first, Anna and Frantz’s parents gradually take Adrian into their home and their hearts, desperate for any connection to the man they have lost. Their neighbours are not quite so welcoming, but Anna soon finds herself drawn to the mysterious man and when he leaves abruptly, she travels to France to find him. There, Anna discovers some devastating truths that reveal that neither Adrian nor her beloved Frantz were quite what they appeared.

Shot in glorious black and white, this film is also a portrait of two nations coming to terms with a brutal past in the years following the First World War. Wonderfully atmospheric, Frantz elegantly brings to life the simultaneous suffering and hope of those left behind after war.