THE LAST DUEL and FREDA: our movie tips for October 13

The Last Duel de Ridley Scott

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Ridley Scott is in great shape. At 83, the director of Gladiator returns to his love of knights with a film as epic as it is intelligent. Its medieval blockbuster is adapted from the book The Last Duel: Paris, December 29, 1396 by Eric Jager, himself inspired by real events. It tells the ultimate Judgment of God in France, a fight to the death between the knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and the squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver). The cause of their quarrel? Marguerite (Jodie Comer), the wife of the first, accuses her husband’s rival of having raped her. Refusing to be silent, she forces the two men to put their lives on the line to keep face. The filmmaker surrounded himself with a royal cast to bring to the screen this thrilling feminist knights story. Brighter still, the writers (Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Nicole Holofcener) made the choice of a three-part film, like chapters dedicated to each of the points of view: those of men first, cockfights based on questions of honor, then that of the victim, immediately announced as “the truth”. This triptych composition brings a judicious reflection on the questioning of the voice of women, on the gray area which too often surrounds the question of consent and on the way society looks at those who denounce. Even with chain mail, bloodletting and the ubiquity of religion in righteousness, The Last Duel wear one sharp sword at contemporary questions.

With Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck (2h33)

Freda by Gessica Généus

© Nour Films

Selected in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival, Freda deserves to be seen. This feature film, written and directed by a woman, is the first Haitian film of the last 20 years. He looks at the daily life of Freda, a young woman from Port-au-Prince, torn like other young people of her age between the temptation to leave the country to give herself a chance, or that of staying to fight. Gessica Géneus poses a raw camera on his country scarred by violence and corruption. But by focusing on the story of her heroine inspired by herself, the filmmaker widens the field of vision and raises the portrait of these resigned young women to gain their independence to lead the life they want. They are the ones who carry the film. More than a social fresco, Freda offers a universal vision on the ambition of a generation in full awakening. The feature film received the François-Chalais Prize, an award given to films close to journalistic values. A necessary highlight as Haitian news continues to darken.

With Néhémie Bastien, Fabiola Remy, Djanaïna François (1h29)

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