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Off-Campus Streaming Guide

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

French Language Feature Films

Titles Available as of June 2021

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.

FEATURE FILMS

Age of Gold

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted, by their families, the Church and bourgeois society. 

Afrique, Je Te Plumerai Africa

Examines how Cameroon's French colonizers have been replaced by a dictatorial indigenous regime which still plunders the land and silences the authentic expression of its people. A case study of the devastation of traditional African societies by imposed colonial cultures.

Ça Twiste À Poponguine Rocking Poponguine

A coming of age story set in a remote Senegalese beachside village during the week before Christmas, 1964, where the local teenage boys are divided into rival cultural camps. The "Ins" ("Inseparables") style themselves after French pop stars, attend school, have all the girls--but no record player. Their rivals, the "Kings," style themselves after African-American blues legends, they work as fishermen, don't have any girls--but they do have a record player.

Cleo from 5 to 7

Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman's life, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina. 

Confidential Report

Guy Van Stratten, American smuggler, leaves an Italian prison term with one asset, a dying man's words about wealthy, mysterious Gregory Arkadin. Guy finds it most pleasant to investigate Arkadin though his lovely daughter Raina, her father's idol. To get rid of Guy, Arkadin claims amnesia about his own life prior to 1927, sending Guy off to investigate Arkadin's unknown past. Guy's quest spans many countries and eccentric characters who contribute clues. But the real purpose of Guy's mission proves deadly; can Guy himself survive it? Featuring Akim Tamiroff, Grégoire Aslan, Patricia Medina, Jack Watling, Orson Welles. 

Dakan

 

This first feature film on male homosexuality from sub-Saharan Africa is a contemporary African reinterpretation of the age-old Romeo and Juliet conflict between love and social convention. When Sori and Manga tell their parents they are in love, they respond that, "It's impossible; since time began, it's never happened. Boys don't do that."

A Day in the Country

While on a day trip to the countryside with her parents, a young woman falls in love with a local boy. 

Diabolique

A loathsome school headmaster's wife and mistress team up to kill him. They dump his body in the school's filthy swimming pool, but when the pool is drained, the body has disappeared.

Diplomacy 

As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then 'only as a field of rubble'. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who already has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nothing should be left as a reminder of the city's former glory. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as Nordling tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan. In this riveting adaptation of the play by Cyril Gély, the great Volker Schlöndorff (Academy Award winner for *The Tin Drum*) has created a psychologically elaborate game of political manners between two highly contrasting characters.

Dreams of Dust

Mocktar, a Nigerian peasant, arrives at an old gold mining town in Burkina Faso, where he hopes to find work and to forget the past that haunts him. He quickly finds out that the gold rush ended twenty years before, and the inhabitants of this strange, timeless wasteland seem to exist simply from force of habit. The beautiful Coumba, however, is still courageously struggling to raise her daughter after the death of their family. Mocktar will soon be fighting not only to survive, but to provide a better future for Coumba and her child in this film that was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

The 400 Blows

François Truffaut's first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut's cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud),The 400 blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut's own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut's passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French new wave. 

Girlhood

Fed up with her abusive family situation, lack of school prospects and the "boys' law" in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her style, drops out of school and starts stealing to be accepted into the gang. When her home situation becomes unbearable, Marieme seeks solace in an older man who promises her money and protection. Realizing this sort of lifestyle will never result in the freedom and independence she truly desires, she finally decides to take matters into her own hands. 

Jules and Jim (1962)

The story of a sadistic headmaster who brutalizes his fragile wife and his headstrong mistress. The two women murder him and dump his body in a swimming pool; when the pool is drained, no corpse is found. 

La Haine

Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris's outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Kounde), and Said (Said Taghmaoui)--a Jew, an African, and an Arab--give human faces to France's immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country's ongoing identity crisis. 

La Regle du Jeu (1939) “The Rules of the Game"

François Truffaut directed Jules et Jim in 1961. The film is born from the enthusiastic discovery of an autobiographical novel written by Henri-Pierre Roché and love at first sight for the actress Jeanne Moreau, without whom the film would never have been made. Their great complicity enabled Jeanne and François to transform the story into a lover’s triangle. Through the portrayal of a free woman who lives to the rhythm of her desires and who is filmed as an engine of cultural modernity, François Truffaut anticipates the 1960s. Jules is German, Jim is French: their cinematic friendship is contemporary with the rekindling of French-German political alliances. François Truffaut, the man who loved women, dreamed up the invention of a "pure love triangle." 

La Reine Margot

She is beautiful. She is Catholic. She is the King's sister. She is Marguerite de Valois. Her brothers call her Margot.. He is Protestant. They say that he is rude, that he never shaves, that he smells of garlic and sweat. He is Henri de Navarre.. They are forced to marry in a political move to reconcile France, ripped apart by the Wars of Religion.

La Petite Lili

Ludivine Sagnier stars as Lili, the love and muse of an idealistic young filmmaker in this modern adaptation of Chekov's classic play The Seagull. The story revolves around Mado, a movie-star past her prime who owns an elegant chateau in the serene French countryside. Mado's lover Brice is a successful director who continues to cast Mado in his films. Her son Julien, an aspiring filmmaker, despises his "sell-out" mother, but at the same time yearns for her approval. Lili, Julien's girlfriend (and lead actress), is intent on escaping the lowly life of a poor country girl and dreams of stardom.

L’Atalante (1934)

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy. 

La Vie En Rose

Updated in 1998, Edith Piaf's meteoric rise to fame from the nightclubs of Paris to the world's most famous chanteuse is legend. "The Little Sparrow's" throaty renditions of such hits as "La Vie en Rose," "Non, je ne regrette rien," and "L'Accordioniste" seem as fresh today as when they were recorded. This program pays tribute to Piaf by examining her life through archival footage, photos, and the personal commentary of Piaf historian Raquel Britton. Broadway and television actress Bebe Neuwirth narrates. 

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme 

Monsieur Jourdain, a wealthy tradesman, is sparing no expense to try to buy what he can never be: a born gentleman. As delightful as he is fatuous and as genuine as he is naive, M. Jourdain's attempts to transform himself through custom-tailored clothing and all manner of lessons are absurd to everyone-except himself. But when his pretensions lead him to refuse his daughter's hand to Cleante on the grounds that the young man is not a gentleman, he goes too far. Thanks to a clever scheme, she and her beloved find the happiness they seek. 

L'Ecole des Femmes 

Fearful of falling victim to marital infidelity, bachelor Arnolphe schemes to marry his guileless young ward, Agnes, whom he has had raised in a convent specifically to be his model wife. However, his naive plan is spoiled when Agnes runs away with Horace-a fact that Arnolphe learns when Horace unwittingly asks him to conceal her at his home. Before Arnolphe can react, it is revealed that Agnes' wealthy father has formally arranged her marriage to Horace, dashing his hopes forever. This play-Moliere's greatest commercial success-drew heavy attacks for supposed moral and literary flaws. 

Le Million

A musical comedy about a pair of young lovers who lose a lottery ticket worth a million francs and chase it frantically across Paris. Considered one of the very first musical films. 

Les Misérables

This 1958 French-German-Italian production is one of the finest film versions of Victor Hugo's classic novel about the escaped prisoner Jean Valjean and his implacable pursuer Javert. It stars the legendary French actor Jean Gabin as Valjean. This long film is often said to be the most faithful adaptation of the novel. Directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois. 

Les Femmes Savantes

Pseudo-intellectualism is all the fashion, and Chrysale is a man under siege. Philaminte, his wife, is enthralled by the pedantic poet Trissotin and is determined to marry their youngest daughter, Henriette, to him in spite of her husband's opposition and Henriette's protests that she be allowed to marry the sensible Clitandre. In the end, Henriette is united with her beloved, but not before Trissotin abandons his suit-just when it appears that the family's fortunes have been lost through Philaminte's spendthrift highbrow pursuits.   

Liliom

Two women love the same man in a world of few prospects. In Budapest, Liliom is a "public figure," a rascal who's a carousel barker, loved by the experienced merry-go-round owner and by a young, innocent maid. The maid, Julie, loses her job after going out with Liliom; he's fired by his jealous employer for going out with Julie. The two lovers move in with Julie's aunt; unemployment emasculates him and a local weasel tempts him with crime. Julie, now wan, is true to Liliom even in his bad temper. Meanwhile, a stolid widower, a carpenter, wants to marry Julie. Is there any future on this earth for Julie and Liliom, whose love is passionate rather than ideal? Featuring Charles Boyer, Madeleine, Ozeray, Florelle.  

Partie de Campagne 

While on a day trip to the countryside with her parents, a young woman falls in love with a local boy. 

Petit à Petit

An innovative semi-improvised feature film about young men from Niger exploring life in Paris and learning to appreciate traditional values back home. Like Jaguar, and starring the three main actors from that film, Petit à Petit is an exercise in what Rouch called ethno-fiction, an idiosyncratic blend of fiction and observational documentary.

Pièces D'Identités / Identity pieces 

A Congolese king searches for his daughter in Brussels where for a time he loses his royal fetishes, his identity, but finds a friend, a local cabdriver with a secret identity. With his help and a chain of coincidence (it must be destined), Mani Kongo is reunited with his daughter and his regalia and returns to Africa with a circle of friends.

Port of Shadows

A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city. 

Tree of Blood

In Amanha Lundju, the trees planted upon the birth of each child begin falling rapidly and mysteriously. Led by the tradition healer, Calcalado, the villagers begin a desert exodus in search of the cause of their curse and discover they must return home to fight for their traditions and their old way of life. 

A Trip to the Moon

A group of men travel to the moon by being shot in a capsule from a giant cannon. They are captured by moon-men, escape, and return to the earth. Filmed in 1902.

The Young Girls of Rochefort

Jacques Demy followed up The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another musical about missed connections and second chances, this one a more effervescent confection. Twins Delphine and Solange, a dance instructor and a music teacher (played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac), long for big-city life; when a fair comes through their quiet port town, so does the possibility of escape. With its jazzy Michel Legrand score, pastel paradise of costumes, and divine supporting cast (George Chakiris, Grover Dale, Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli, and Gene Kelly), The Young Girls of Rochefort is a tribute to Hollywood optimism from sixties French cinema's preeminent dreamer. 

DOCUMENTARIES 

Avec André Gide

This film explores the life and work of author André Gide. 

Burning Out : Dans le Ventre de l'Hopital

Burning Out is literally a drama about life and death. For two years, Belgian director Jérôme le Maire followed the members of a surgical unit in one of the biggest hospitals in Paris. Constantly under severe stress, understaffed and subject to severe budget cuts, employees fight each other for resources. Meanwhile the management imposes ever more stringent efficiency and profitability targets. All over Europe burnout has reached epidemic proportions among employees in the public and private sectors. Will we end up killing ourselves? Or will we be able to find meaning and joy at work?

Chats Perchés

In November 2001, Chris Marker became intrigued by the sudden appearance of grinning yellow cat paintings on Paris buildings and began to document them, as well as other incidents and protests in the city of Paris while he filmed. The creator is eventually revealed to be an art collective known as Mr. Chat. 

Dans le Pas de Trisha Brown

The dancers of the Ballet de l'Opera company of Paris learn to perform choreographer Trisha Brown's seminal 1979 dance "Glacial Decoy."

Dernières Nouvelles du Cosmos

It wasn't until Helene was 20 years old that her parents discovered that their autistic daughter was able not only to communicate, but to write deeply complex, philosophical and poetic work.

La Cour de Babel

French documentary based in a Parisian school for immigrant children. Filmed over the course of one academic year, the documentary follows the teachers and pupils of Granges-aux-Belles secondary school that teaches non-French speaking children between the ages of eleven and 15 to read and write the language fluently.

Le Chagrin et La Pite: Chronique d'une Ville Francaise Sous L'Occupation

Through interviews with participants and newsreel footage, examines the occupation of France by the Germans during World War II as it occurred in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. Concentrates on the themes of collaboration and resistance. 

Le Joli Mai

Filmed just after the March ceasefire between France and Algeria, Le Joli Mai documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war. 

Le Mystère Picasso

Explores the mind and motivations of Pablo Picasso as he creates over fifteen works before the camera. Using a specially designed transparent 'canvas' to provide an unobstructed view, Picasso creates as the camera records. He begins with simple works that take shape after only a single brush stroke. He then progresses to more complex paintings, in which he repeatedly adds and removes elements, transforming the entire scene, until at last the work is complete. 

Les Deux Vsages d'une Femme Bamiléké

Motivated by a desire to better understand her past, Rosine Mbakam returns to Cameroon after many years to interview her mother. As she spends more time with her mother and the women around her, Rosine reveals the strength of their solidarity and their ability to face adversity--whether hiding for their lives from French soldiers or being committed to a man for marriage at age eight.

Post-Carbon Futures

This film makes the case that we need a completely different approach to economic growth and prosperity and that geo-engineering and building huge projects simply in order to maintain a consumer society makes no sense. British environmentalist Tim Jackson, from the University of Surrey, and French writer Paul Ariés both argue that our current economic system has trapped us into needing to constantly increase our emissions. 

Ravel

A portrait of French composer Maurice Ravel with performances of some of his best known works. 

Vivant!

What happens when five HIV-positive gay men spend a week preparing for their first solo parachute drop?