Cover Here are five movies you can’t at the Hong Kong French Film Festival

Jean-Sébastien Attié, the general director of Alliance Française gives his recommendations on the movies you shouldn’t miss at the Hong Kong French Film Festival 2021

The Hong Kong French Film Festival (HKFFF) celebrates its 50th edition this year, making it an important event that you cannot miss. Organised by the Alliance Française de Hong Kong, the 50th edition will run from November 24 to December 14 across five cinemas in the city, boasting more than 110 screenings. 

“Our selection of retrospective movies brings our cinephiles to the best of French timeless classics of the past five decades,” says Jean-Sébastien Attié, the general director of Alliance Française. This year’s edition includes award-winning and arthouse favourites such as Eiffel, Amelie and the Palme d'Or winner, Titane. But in addition to the sure favourites, the festival has so much more to offer. “Witnessing the unstoppable trend of female presence in the European movie industry, the 2021 edition of the HKFFF encompasses 10 movies directed and produced by women,” says Attié.

Not sure where to start? We asked Attié to give us his recommendations and why you can’t miss these movies.

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1. Aline, The Voice of Love by Valérie Lemercier

Set in the 1960s in Quebec, Sylvette and Anglomard welcome their 14th child, Aline. Music runs in the family so it’s not surprising that Aline has an amazing voice. When a producer discovers her, he has only one idea in mind: to make her the greatest singer in the world. With the support of her family and Guy Claude’s budding love for her, Aline is set on the path of greatness.

Jean-Sébastien Attié: “If you are inspired by Céline Dion’s fabulous and splendid story, whose life resembles a novel or even a movie, then you will definitely be amazed by Aline, The Voice of Love. Although this is neither a documentary nor a factual recount of Celine’s life story, the French artist Valérie Lemercier incarnates and interprets the legendary singer with her stunning acting skills, bringing us a blend of admiration and humour. As a French and Québec-Canadian crossover production, HKFFF proudly presents a special ‘Québec’ evening on December 3 at the City Hall.”

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2. Bigger Than Us by Flore Vasseur

This documentary follows 18-year-old Melati, who has been fighting plastic pollution in Indonesia for the past six years. Melati is part of a generation that wants to make a change and meets with her fellow young adults across the globe to make it happen. 

Jean-Sébastien Attié:Bigger Than Us is one of the four documentaries the HKFFF chooses in the new Cinema for the Climate series. Produced by Marion Cotillard who played the main role as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose and deeply involved in climate issues, plus directed by Flore Vasseur, Bigger Than Us follows the footsteps of a young Indonesian activist Melati, trying not only to alleviate the serious plastic pollution in her home country but also to fix the world.

A must-see after the delayed and disappointing COP26.”

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3. Rose by Aurélie Saada

Rose tells the story of Rose, a 78-year-old woman who can’t do anything without her husband. Unfortunately, he passes away and she feels that her life cannot go on. Unable to see her mother’s hopelessness, Rose’s daughter takes her out to dinner where she meets a Holocaust survivor and something in her changes. Rose later redefines herself as a woman and what it means to leave.

Jean-Sébastien Attié: “Co-presented with the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival which was held right before this festival, Rose is a beautiful story of an aged lady who just turned widow. The 78-year-old Rose is delicately interpreted by the incredible and sophisticated Françoise Fabian.”

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4. Under the Sun of Satan by Georges Bernanos

This 1987 classic from Maurice Pialet focuses on a zealous rural priest, Dossignan. Dean Menou-Segrais tries to keep him reasonable but the priest becomes tempted by Satan to try and save the soul a young girl, Mouchette who killed one of her loves.

Jean-Sébastien Attié: “The festival pays tribute to the late Maurice Pialat with four movies produced by this director Of Pain and Torments, and one of the greatest filmmakers in French history. Under the Sun of Satan, which stars Gérard Depardieu, was awarded the Palme d'Or in 1987 at Cannes Film Festival. Demanding, agonised, but luminous at the same time, Under the Sun of Satan best exemplifies the highest standards of French productions. The three other Pialat films include We Won’t Grow Old Together, Loulou and Van Gogh.”

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5. Peaceful by Emmanuelle Bercot

Peaceful by Emmanuelle Bercot revolves around four characters during their entire year together. There’s a son in the midst of a serious illness, a mother in denial and a doctor and nurse who become devoted to keeping the mother and son accompanied in their hopelessness.

Jean-Sébastien Attié: “As the icon of French cinema, everyone loves having Catherine Deneuve on the screen. We are therefore bringing you her latest appearance in Bercot’s Peaceful. The film tells the last moments of a hopelessly incurable son, and his overwhelmed mother, trying to understand what it means to die while living in a sorrowful relationship.”

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The Hong Kong French Film Festival runs from November 24 to December 14. For more details, please visit



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