ALLIANCE Française (AF) de Maseru has resumed screening of French films on Thursday nights after taking a break during the festive season.
Dubbed, Cinema Nights, the screenings are meant to help the international organisation’s students at its training centre in Lesotho learn the French language, and also to promote Francophone culture and way of life.
AF is the world’s largest French teaching centre with over 1 000 organisations in 134 countries, serving over 350 000 students every year, recognised and sponsored by the French government. France is the third biggest film market in the world both in terms of admissions, after the United States and India, and revenues.
The films are showcased on a big screen outside Ouh la la coffee shop in Maseru. France is regarded as the birthplace of cinema and was responsible for many of its early significant contributions. It is noted for having a particularly strong film industry, due in part to protections afforded by the French government.
Cinema Nights will start off with the 1964 French musical film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, about a young girl separated from her lover by war and faces a life altering decision.
The simple romantic tragedy begins in 1964 when a dashing 20-year-old French mechanic, Guy Foucher (Nino Castelnuovo), falls in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery (Catherine Deneuve), an employee in her widowed mother’s chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. Their simple romance is turned into a tragedy when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Pregnant by Guy, Geneviève is caught up in a dilemma of waiting for Guy’s return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant (Marc Michel). Throughout the musical film, all the characters’ dialogue is conveyed through song.