France, 2020 / 97 min / French OV with English subt. / Drama
Yuri fights to save his home town – which he shares with his namesake, Yuri Gagarin – from demolition.
Yuri, 16, has lived all his life in Gagarin Towers, a vast red brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris. From the heights of his apartment, he dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when plans to demolish his community’s home are leaked, Yuri joins the resistance. With his friends Diana and Houssam, he embarks on a mission to save Gagarin, transforming the estate into his own “starship” – before it disappears into space forever.
|Sat||13/03||18:30||Ciné Utopia||FR OV with sst. EN||Public||https://luxfilmfestfilms.megatix.be/en/HO00003122|
“A boy, a building and a looming big bang: Out of these elements French directors Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh create a wondrous debut feature that derives such a crackle of authenticity from the physical reality of its setting that its starry-eyed metaphysics seem uncannily plausible too. […] Liatard and Trouilh manage the transitions between real and imaginary beautifully by grounding even the film’s most fanciful moments […] Or maybe it’s more that through deployment of masterful craft, the directors create a mood in which the two can co-exist: Marion Burger’s production design is a terrific melding of concrete-and-plaster banality with found-object artistry, while Victor Seguin’s camera alternates between weightless, spaced-out dreaminess and hard-gravity handheld as easily as breathing in then breathing out.” Jessica Kiang, Variety, 23/06/2020
“On the big screen, the banlieue and its housing projects with their interminable walls of buildings constructed in the 1960s and nowadays denounced for their inhumanity and as breeding grounds for social ghettoes, almost never escape the social realist treatment […] But Gagarine, the feature debut from Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh, recipient of the Cannes 73 Official Selection label, completely escapes this stereotyped tableau, audaciously and masterfully plunging into a mix of genres, opening totally unexpected space-time horizons and sending coded messages of resistance to those who can see the soul of places and who can look far beyond the walls. […] Grabbing onto a very timely, very real event (the Gagarin Towers were demolished in August 2019), Fanny Liatard et Jérémy Trouilh successfully combine a story that is very anchored in contemporary reality with an oniric dimension in zero gravity. […] The whole project radiates cinema in terms of directing and inventive, clever visual and sound design, placing Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh among the young talents who should be followed very closely.” Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa, 24/06/2020
“Entirely out on its own orbit, although with one foot on realist terra firma, urban fantasy Gagarine marks an audacious feature debut for writing-directing duo Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh. As part of 2020’s Cannes Official Selection label, this dreamlike romance can certainly be deemed a flagship for the continuation of imagination and ambition in French cinema.” Jonathan Romney, ScreenDaily, 24/06/2020
“Gagarine is distinguished by gorgeous wide shots of the vast edifice, often lending the impression of a fortress untouched by time and incapable to letting the modern world in. When Yuri sets up an eclipse viewing party for the community, the shadow that falls across the buildings registers as both ominous and awe-inspiring. Forces much larger than they can comprehend govern their existence, and Yuri’s the only one making the effort to demystify them.” Eric Kohn, IndieWire 26/06/2020
- Best Director, Athens International Film Festival, 2020 (Greece)
- Best Actor for Alseni Bathily, Seville European Film Festival, 2020 (Spain)
Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met while studying at Sciences Po. Jérémy Trouilh finished his studies with a Master's degree in creative documentary filmmaking in Lussas, in the Ardèche. At the same time, Fanny Liatard was working in Marseille on artistic projects related to urban transformations in the city's neighbourhoods. A year and a half after these respective experiences, they met back up in Paris with the common desire to write and direct fiction films. After winning the HLM sur Cour(t) screenplay competition, they directed their first short film, Gagarine, which screened at Message to Man, Flickerfest, and the Sundance Channel Shorts Competition. It was followed by The Republic of Enchanters (2016) and Blue Dog (2018), shot alongside residents of working-class districts and nominated for a César award. Their first feature, Gagarine, developed from their earlier short film, received the Cannes 2020 Label.
- Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh
- 2020 – Gagarine
- 2018 – Chien bleu (short)
- 2016 – La République des enchanteurs (short)
- 2015 – Gagarine (short)