Last night I saw the French film “La Famille Belier” at the cinema with a friend. It’s about Paula, a farmer’s daughter with deaf parents, who discovers she has a singing talent. Her family depends on her as a go-between in the world of the hearing and they fear losing her to that world when Paula wants to pursue her dreams in Paris.
It’s a comedy but also a drama and this confusion of genres works quite well. This genre confusion sometimes did make the film feel a little uneven, desperately angling for laughs when maybe they weren’t always needed. Regardless of that, it is a beautiful film and the audition at the end of the film – I defy anyone to not break down in tears at that point. Such a very touching moment!
The film made me think of another (German) film from 1996 called “Jenseits der Stille”. It deals with exactly the same topic, only “Jenseits der Stille” is about a girl who is a very talented clarinet player and wants to go to a conservatory in Berlin. I was only able to find a German trailer for that on YouTube:
This film is up there with my favorite films ever, Famille Belier can’t beat that yet, and I have watched it many times over the years. It never fails to touch me to the core and also features some beautiful Klezmer (Jewish) music by Giora Feidmann (who I once saw in concert).
There are many parallels between “Stille” and “Bellier”, so if you enjoy the one, I am sure you would enjoy the other as well. Go check them out even if they only tickle your fancy a little bit! 🙂