Tuesday, March 21, 8:00am (morning)
Robinson 103, UNC Charlotte Main Campus
Director David Oelhoffen
France, 2014, 101 min.
French, Arabic, Spanish with English subtitles
Presented as part of The Tournées Festival, which was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.
Additional sponsors are the Alliance Française de Charlotte and the UNC Charlotte French Club.
Introduction by William Davis, Lecturer in Film Studies, UNC Charlotte. Discussion will follow screening.
Algeria, 1954. The War of Independence is rumbling into being. In a remote one room schoolhouse in the Atlas Mountains, Daru (Viggo Mortensen), the son of Spanish settlers, teaches Algerian children French. One day, local French police officers appear with Mohamed (Reda Kateb), an Algerian accused of murder, and charge Daru with escorting him to trial in the closest city while they continue to fight the growing insurrection. David Oelhoffen’s film starts off as an archetypal Western—two men thrown against each other as they traverse a barren landscape—but when Daru and Mohamed find themselves stuck between French troops and the rebel army, it turns into a gripping meditation on the fate of individuals tossed to and fro by sociopolitical forces beyond their control. Freely adapted from Albert Camus’s short story The Guest (from the collection Exile and the Kingdom), Far from Men has the classic sheen of the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age: big moral questions projected onto vast landscapes, steely performances from its two stars, and, most importantly, a universality grounded in the specific. While Far from Men is essential viewing for its insight into a conflict whose effects continue to be felt, it is first and foremost a universal story of civilians faced with the absurdity of war.