French Film Week in Berlin
The Französische Filmwoche, or French Film Week, is an opportunity to discover the very best of new French cinema right here in Berlin. Or, to be more precise, the very best of new Francophone cinema – the festival also features productions from Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Québec. There are films to suit every taste, from romantic to political, culinary to comedy. You will find all the information on screenings and participating cinemas here. With still a couple of days left of this year’s festival, the 12th Französische Filmwoche, I have one film I would like to recommend in particular: Les Saveurs du Palais or, in German, Die Köchin und der Präsident. (most of the films are shown in the original French with German subtitles, sorry Anglophones!)
Last night I went along to the first screening of Les Saveurs du Palais, a film directed by Christian Vincent. The screening was held at Cinema Paris on the Kurfürstendamm, a small but charming cinema just minutes from the Hotel Concorde Berlin, and will be screened again tonight as part of the Französische Filmwoche, this time at the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain, before opening in cinemas in Germany towards the end of December. As with many of the films on the programme, the first screening was preceded by a discussion with the cast (including the excellent Catherine Frot), and in this case, a very special guest: Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch – the woman upon whose incredible story the film is based.
The film portrays the legendary relationship between François Mitterrand, France’s President between 1981 and 1995, and his personal chef: Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch. I don’t want to give too much about the plot away, but what I will say is: this is one of the best advertisements for French cuisine I have ever witnessed. I would have gladly gone straight from the cinema to the Brasserie Le Faubourg but alas it was quite late by the time we finally left. As everybody knows, the French take their food very seriously, and this film not only leaves you feeling very hungry, it also makes you reflect upon the value of simple, homemade food, sustainability and regional produce.
The Hotel Concorde Berlin was proud partner of the Französische Filmwoche.