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Maurice Pialat and the New French Realism

À la Place du coeur

Where the Heart Is

A 1998 French adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk.

Image from À la Place du coeur

France 1998
Dir Robert Guédiguian
With Laure Raoust, Alex Ogou, Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
113min
Digital
English subtitles

Twenty years before Barry Jenkins made If Beale Street Could Talk came this first adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel. It’s set, like all Guédiguian’s features, in a working-class district of Marseilles, and filmed with a cast of non-professional locals. Teenagers Clem (Raoust) and Bébé (Ogou) are about to have a baby, but face crisis when a racist gendarme arrests Bébé on false charges.


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