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LE SEL DES LARMES (2020, FRA)

Veteran of French film Philippe Garrel (father of famous actor Louis Garrel) began filming as a 16-year-old in the mid-1960s under the influence of new wave fighters such as Godard and Truffaut, and he has clearly not given up that style to this day. With the latest film, the typical new wave romantic drama “Le sel des larmes” or “The Salt of Tears” he presented himself in the competition program of the Berlin festival, and it is the story of a young carpenter from the province who falls in love with three women. Narratively and stylistically, this black-and-white drama was quite unusual, and Garrel was assisted in the script by two other veterans of French film, Jean-Claude Carriere and Arlette Langmann. Luc is a young and charming carpenter who lives with his elderly father, and he headed to Paris where he plans to continue his education at a prestigious craft school.

Coincidentally, Luc will meet Djemilo on the bus, with whom he will enter into a short-term romantic relationship, but immediately upon his return to his place, he will forget about Djemil because Genevieve’s high school love will appear in his life. According to both of these women, Luc will behave quite badly, but all this will come to fruition with his third girlfriend, Betsy, who will be in a relationship with another guy in parallel with him. And this whole story seems rather absurd, extremely unusual, even a bit cold and quite cynical because it is quite difficult to understand the logic of Luc’s behavior and his treatment of all these women. There’s also an equally strange relationship between Luca and his father so this was definitely not an average and ordinary film.

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