The Hedgehog

The Hedgehog  {Le Herisson}
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Saturday, January 15, 7:00 PM
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Monday, January 17, 4:30 PM
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The Hedgehog
Le Herisson
France, 2010, 98 Minute Running Time
Topics: Comedy, Coming of Age, Drama, Family Friendly, Woman Director, Women
Programs: Best of the Fest, Special Presentations
Language: French English Sub-Titles

Awards: Cairo International Film Festival 2009 (FIPRESCI Prize); Audience Award winner SIFF

With a magical blend of gravity and levity, director Mona Achache deftly brings Muriel Barbery’s much-loved novel and its intriguing and delightfully complicated characters to life. A lover of art and philosophy, 11-year-old Paloma is disenchanted with the hypocrisy she perceives in her immediate world and pledges to end her life by her next birthday. With 165 days to go, she begins documenting her environment with her father’s High-8 camera. Through this unique lens, and with Paloma’s caustic commentary as the soundtrack, we enter the cosmos of her upper-crust Parisian apartment building and glimpse the interior lives of the characters who inhabit it—in particular, grumpy, frumpy concierge, Renée (the marvelous comedienne Josiane Balasko).

When Paloma finds an extensive secret library in Renée’s back room and that usually gruff matron reading Tolstoy to her cat, she begins to understand that there are allies to be found beneath the prickliest of exteriors. And when she notices that the new tenant, elegant widower Kakuro is paying courtly attention to Reneé, Paloma sees a new mission ahead of her. As the unlikely friendship between this disparate trio deepens, Paloma’s own coming of age becomes a much less pessimistic prospect. Winner, Audience Award, Seattle Film Festival.

DIRECTOR: Mona Achache
Producer: Anne-Dominique Toussaint, Romain Le Grand, Tarek Ben Ammar
Editor: Julia Gregory
Screenwriter: Mona Achache
Cinematographer: Patrick Blossier
Music: Gabriel Yared
Principal Cast: Josiane Balasko, Garance Le Guillemic, Togo Igawa, Anne Brochet
Filmography: Debut Feature
Print Source: Neoclassics Films/Pathe International -

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