© Prokino (FOX)

Das Leben Gehört Uns (Declaration of War, La guerre est déclaré)
France 2011

Opening 26 Apr 2012

Directed by: Valérie Donzelli
Writing credits: Jérémie Elkaïm, Valérie Donzelli
Principal actors: Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix, Gabriel Elkaïm, Brigitte Sy

This film is an autobiographical look at the emotional struggle which faced this young director, Valerie Donzelli, when she found out that her son was terminally ill. This movie starts off very free and hopeful: we see Roméo meets Juliette, they move in together, and soon have a baby. Everything seems to be working out fantastically. But from the beginning, the baby has colic and cries all the time. Slowly it dawns on the couple that he is developing slower than the others and something is seriously wrong. The film is full of emotion and really captures this full range of emotions depending on the situation.

This film is a typical French film in the sense that the characters break out into songs and everyone coming together to help get through these hard times, or will through random parties where everyone will not think about what is really happening in order to deal with the stress. The oddest part about this film is that we are looking at a case of cancer, and it is hard not to notice how much smoking and taking drugs are going on in this film, not to mention random kissing and a basically living-life-on-a-shoe-string lifestyle, but I am sure the French would say c’est la vie, and we would have to accept this way of life. And with that, all ends well since this film was nominated for an Oscar. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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