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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
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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