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RELEASES Belgium

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European films in the spotlight

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After last week’s releases – aimed at younger audiences because of the Easter holidays – this week’s films are for grown-ups, with nine new releases ranging from a US thriller to five distinctly different European films.

First up is British helmer Danny Boyle’s blockbuster, Sunshine [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: AndrewMacdonald
interview: Danny Boyle
film profile
]
(see Focus), starring handsome Irish actor Cillian Murphy. The UK co-production by DNA Films, distributed by its co-producer and sales agent Fox Searchlight more or less simultaneously across Europe, is accompanied by two French titles.

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The first of these is Les Films de L'Elysée release Le Candidat [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. Starring Yvan Attal, the film – a political thriller set a few days before the French presidential elections – is the first helmed by well-known actor Niels Arestrup, who also co-stars.

The second French title is Michel Spinosa’s Anna M. [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, starring Isabelle Carré and Gilbert Melki. After its screening in the Berlinale Panorama sidebar (see article), the title opens through Victory Films today in Belgium.

Anna M., scripted and directed by Spinosa (see interview), also marks the director’s return to the silver screen after 2000’s Enchanted Interlude and Gilles Bourdos’ superbly scripted Inquiétudes, and follows the amorous and dangerous delusions of a young woman who believes she is loved.

After its screening at Venice Days, where it won the Europa Cinemas Label (see news), Spanish film DarkBlueAlmostBlack [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Daniel Sanchez Arévalo (see interview) is opening through Cinéart.

However, Bille August’s biopic Goodbye Bafana [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
– which screened in official competition at Berlin (see article), where it won the Peace Prize – is the top release on local screens this week. The €12m majority European production between Germany (X Film), France (Arsam International ), the UK (Future Film Group), Italy (Fonema), as well as South Africa (Film Afrika) was produced by Jean-Luc Van Damme of Banana Films, who acquired the rights to the memoirs of Nelson Mandela’s prison guard James Gregory in 2003.

The title is being sold worldwide by Celluloid Dreams and distributed in Belgium through Cinéart on 14 screens.

Goodbye Bafana, which also stars British actor Joseph Fiennes and Germany’s Diane Krüger, tells of one man's battle with his conscience and the profound changes he undergoes from his contact with Mandela.

(Translated from French)

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