“Divertimento” by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, by the force of the wrist
by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar
French film, 1h50
entertainment certainly does not have the ambition – nor doubtless the financial means – to Tar, the other feature film featuring a female conductor. Here, no private jet, fascinated media, meals in the best restaurants in New York or Berlin. But, in Stains, in Seine-Saint-Denis, a loving and united family of Algerian origin where classical music holds an immense, beneficent and demanding place.
The 17-year-old twins, Zahia and Fettouma, one a violist and the other a cellist, work hard, suffer the vexations of their bourgeois comrades from the Racine high school, cling on. Zahia is fascinated and then possessed by the work of a conductor: she wants to direct, she must direct.
Oulaya Amamra (Zahia) and Lina El Arabi (Fettouma) embody the two sisters with youthful delicacy, surrounded by a more unequal distribution, even a bit caricatural. Some “social” scenes do not avoid ease or deja-vu, but these reservations are quickly swept away by the main quality of the film, which is precisely what is lacking in Tar. Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, who worked closely with Zahia Ziouani on the soundtrack, knows how to transcribe in sound and images the empire that music exercises over her characters. In this respect, the sequences where Zahia associates the noises and vibrations of the city (metro, road traffic, etc.) with the scores that constantly occupy her thoughts are particularly successful. And inspiring.
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