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Alice Diop, France 2022, 122 Min., OV with English subs, DCP

Writer Rama travels to the small French town of Saint-Omer to follow the trial of Laurence Coly. Defendant Coly, a philosophy student with a Senegalese family background, is accused of murdering her 15-month-old daughter. Alice Diop, undoubtedly one of the most outstanding French filmmakers, stages this tribunal in her first feature-length film SAINT OMER, one based on the real case of Kabou, incorporating texts from the trial files. The filmmaker followed the trial in the courtroom and dealt intensively with the life story of the accused. To a certain extent, the protagonist Rama also reflects the filmmaker's personal and ambivalent fascination with the real case. Thus, multiple levels, moments and overlays emerge, linking documentary with fiction, private experience with public discourse. This court drama is not just about an extraordinary case, but a complex examination of social circumstances. The trauma experienced by a black woman and mother caused by racism and misogyny weaves into a narrative of a modern Medea. The spectator is not only sitting in the cinema, but in court, and in the end must make their own judgment. (Can Sungu)

Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds