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Cannes Film Festival 2014

Béjo upstaged by small boy in Hazanavicius's The Search

Bérénice Béjo and Abdul Karim Mamatsuevi inThe Search by Michel Hazanavicius.
Bérénice Béjo and Abdul Karim Mamatsuevi inThe Search by Michel Hazanavicius. La Petite Reine / La Classe Américaine / Roger Arpajou

A remake by French director Michel Hazanavicius of The Artist fame sees his wife Bérénice Béjo as a European Commission Human Rights rapporteur, trying to do good in wartorn Chechnya.

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The Search, a remake of a 1948 Swiss-American film directed by Fred Zinnemann,  follows three stories which meld into one during the Chechen war in 1999 in bleak countryside, burning buildings and rubble.

Dossier: Cannes Film Festival 2014

Carole seeks a way to improve the world and gets a chance with a small refugee boy whose sister is looking for him on the refugee trail. Chechnya burns, rubble and corpses abound.

A Russian soldier Kolia is virtually pressganged into the army at 19 because he’s caught smoking dope on a street corner.

The cute, romantic guy is disfigured inside and out by the army he joins to avoid going to prison.

The twist ,which brings a full circle, is not acrobatic enough to be original.

Annette Bening portrays a burnt-out but humanely persistent Red Cross mother-superior.
Through her and Béjo,

Hazanivicius vehicles the now well-circulated opinions of international bodies being cumbersome and sleepy and out of touch.

Béjo won a best actress Palm award in 2013 for her role in Iranian Asghar Farhardi’s The Past.

In this film, it’s fair to say she’s upstaged and beaten in the tear-jerker stakes by a small boy - Abdul Karim Mamatsuevi.

His dialogue is little. His impact is big.

Especially in what will surely be one of, if not the only, agreeably memorable scene in The Search, where he mixes traditional dance with a sort of break-dance,to a Bee Gees top hit.
 

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