© Capelight/Wild Bunch / Central Film Verleih GmbH

Der Zopf (The Braid, La Tresse)
France/Canada/Italy/Belgium 2023

Opening 7 Mar 2024

Directed by: Laetitia Colombani
Writing credits: Laetitia Colombani, Sarah Kaminsky
Principal actors: Kim Raver, Fotinì Peluso, Mia Maelzer, Sajda Pathan, Avi Nash

Based on the novel published as La Tresse in France in 2017, this motion picture adaptation shows us a film of three courageous women living on three different continents and their deep connection, spiritual, cultural, and emotional.

The film begins in India with Smita (Mia Maelzer), a member of the Dalit caste, who is dedicated to providing her daughter a better life and in doing so, takes drastic measures out of pure desperation. In Italy, Giulia (Fotinì Peluso) faces the challenges of saving her family’s future as their wig workshop ceases to keep them above water financially, when her father is involved in an accident. In Canada, Sarah (Kim Raver) a single parent and successful lawyer faces a diagnosis leaving her powerless and weak.

As Smita braids her daughter’s hair, I cannot help but feeling transported back to my own childhood, a moment of a serene bond between a mother and her daughter. Throughout the film, Laetitia Colombani keeps tapping back and forth between the three characters, weaving them together without their knowledge of one another’s existence.

Colombani dissects these three characters and portrays them at their weakest, most vulnerable, and lowest points in their lives. But as the film unfolds, these three characters are connected in depth and emotion.

Throughout the film, I was abruptly taken from continent to continent and in doing so, switching from one foreign language to another, which can be disrupting. But the soundtrack accompanied me like a solid bystander, hardly noticeable at most stages along the way. (Charis Habertag)

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