Tournées Film Festival starts off with a hit

“Mrs. Hyde” screening showcases the importance of teacher-student relationships

The Tournées Film Festival festival began last Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Gaines Theater for their first film screening: “Mrs. Hyde” (2017). There was a pretty substantial crowd of students and professors from the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures (MCLL). Throughout the next couple weeks, until the film festival’s end on Feb. 25, there will be films being shown weekly on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Gaines Theater. The festival was luckily able to showcase to the Newport News community to the beauty of French film free-of-charge. The festival is part of the FACE Foundation’s many programs, and it is centered on the goal to bring French film to American colleges and universities. The foundation has funded the festival with $200,000, so it’s able to bring the free events to campuses. 

The event was evidently focused on the cinematic and cultural value of “Mrs. Hyde.” The film focuses on the friendship between Madame Géquil (Isabelle Huppert) and a student named Malik (Adda Senani). 

Malik is an Arab teenager and outcast whose intellectual talents go undiscovered, potentially because of his physical disability and his ethnicity.

The film’s friendship is apparent to the film festival due to its focus on France’s marginalized communities and the social commentary following it. There were short discussions before and after the screening to help contextualize and analyze the film more in-depth.

On the panel discussion for the moments before and after the film, Dr. Jason Carney talked to the audience to have an open discussion about “Mrs. Hyde.” Carney explained how this film was loosely based on the classic book “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. After the film, cookies were passed out and enjoyed with a side of film analysis. 

The film analysis followed into a lively discussion about the gender role reversal and how, worldwide, that could illustrate the way society perceives men and women. 

For example, when the male Dr. Jekyll obtained Mr. Hyde, he used him as a way to help himself have fun without the worry of having a conscience; however, the female Madame Géquil used her new ability as a way to help Malik while helping improve the school at the same time. 

Another discussion was about how this film is critiquing the french educational system, especially in lower income and urban areas. Regardless, there was both praise and critique for the film given freely by both the speaker and the audience.  

If you would like to experience the Tournées Film Festival yourself, there are plenty more of film screenings: “Return of the Hero” on Jan. 28 “Tazzeka” on Feb. 4 “Faithful Man” on Feb. 11 “Peppermind Soda” on Feb. 18 and “Memoir of War” on Feb. 25.

~Hannah Lindenblad, Photography Editor~

~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~

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