Presented as part of the COLCOA Cinema selection, Women Make History is a new series dedicated to women for both their central role played during historic events and the struggle for their rights.

From World War I to the creation of the first professional soccer team in France, don’t miss this great mix of drama and comedies, putting women at the heart of the action.

Program is scheduled just before evening shows from April 24 to 27 , through the weekend and ends on April 30 in the afternoon in Renoir Theater and does not overlap with the evening screenings times.

Tickets for screenings of this series are only $10 (general admission); $7 for seniors, disabled, members of ASC, ICG, SAG, American Cinematheque, Film Independent, Women in Film; $5 for under 21 and students

Tuesday, April 24 – 5:40 pm
MEMOIR OF WAR (La Douleur)
Drama | France, Belgium, 2018 | West Coast Premiere | In French with English subtitles

Melanie Thierry is riveting as a distraught Marguerite Duras in Emmanuel Finkiel’s ambitious adaptation of the legendary writer’s semi-autobiographical collection of writings, The War: A Memoir. The setting is 1944 Nazi-occupied France. Duras and her husband, Robert Antelme, are working for the Resistance. When he’s taken prisoner by the Gestapo and deported, she agonizes over his fate and does everything in her power to hasten his release. Enter Vichy collaborator Rabier (a chilling Benoît Magimel) who plays a sinister, flirtatious game with Duras, setting up a series of clandestine meetings and promising information on Robert’s whereabouts.

But is he sincere or just trying to dig up dirt on the Resistance underground. The film’s evocative French title, La Douleur — literally translated as “the pain” — perhaps best captures the film’s theme and harrowing depiction of waiting, grief and inner torment in wartime.

Wednesday April 25 – 5:35 pm

THE LADY IN THE PORTRAIT (Portrait interdit)

Drama | France, China, 2017 | International Premiere | In French & Chinese with English subtitles

Followed by a Q&A with writer/director Charles de Meaux

When the beautiful Ulanara spies her husband, Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, filled with longing and undying love, before the portrait of his late first wife, she is overcome with jealousy. She implores the Emperor to commission a portrait of her, as well, in the hope of arousing the same desire in him. The Emperor chooses French Jesuit painter, Jean Denis Attiret (Melvil Poupaud), for the delicate task that is to follow. Chinese megastar Fan Bingbing turns in an understated, very

moving performance as a proud Empress deeply wounded by her husband’s neglect. Director Charles de Meaux also served as cinematographer on this exquisitely photographed, sumptuous period piece set in the 18th-century Imperial Court of China and loosely based on a true story… and the haunting portrait it left behind.

Thursday, April 26 – 5:40 pm

RETURN OF THE HERO (Le Retour du Héros)
Comedy | France, 2018 | North American Premiere | In French with English subtitles

Academy Award-winning actor Jean Dujardin plays a swaggering, swashbuckling swindler doing his darnedest to bamboozle savvy Mélanie Laurent’s aristocratic clan in this lavish 19th-century drawing room farce-cum-screwball battle of the sexes. He’s an oaf and a cad. She’s an overly prim sparkling wit. She hates him. He despises her. The classic recipe for romance… Or, as director Laurent Tirard says, “It’s a Jean-Paul Belmondo character suddenly dropping into a Jane Austen world.”

Friday, April 27 – 5:30 pm

THE GUARDIANS (Les Guardiennes)
Drama | France, Switzerland, 2017 | West Coast Premiere | In French with English subtitles

Nathalie Baye and real-life daughter, Laura Smet, play a mother and daughter holding down the family farm while their men are off in the trenches, in Xavier Beauvois’ quietly taut World War I drama. Plowing fields, harvesting crops and grinding wheat, year after year, is back-breaking labor for the two women. So they bring on a new farmhand, a soft-spoken orphan (played by radiant newcomer Iris Bry) who soon becomes one of the family. Searing at times, bucolic at others, the film is a graceful portrait of women working shoulder-to-shoulder and

the emotional toll the war wages on the men they love. The film was honored with four César Award nominations.

Monday, April 30 – 3:45 pm

LET THE GIRLS PLAY (Comme des garçons)
Comedy | France, 2018 | North American Premiere | In French with English subtitles

Reims, 1969. Confirmed womanizer and sports writer for the local paper, Paul Coutard has a run-in with the coach of the town soccer team. As punishment for his misconduct, Paul’s boss forces him to plan the paper’s annual fair. His nemesis, executive secretary Emmanuelle Bruno, is coerced into assisting him. The chore quickly turns into a challenge and they decide to organize a women’s soccer match for the event. But the project grows to unsuspected proportions and the hijinks that follow turn the French sports world upside down… and leads them, almost unwittingly, to create the first women’s soccer team in France.

Based on a true story, Let the Girls Play is a feminist rom-com farce with a spunky, predominantly female, cast. It will be screened at COLCOA just a few days after its release in France. We also suggest you watching THROUGH THE MILL (COLCOA Television) on Monday

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