Life is a very strange thing - Cinema Screenings

A new Australian documentary about France - an intriguing, funny and cinematic portrait by an outsider.

Life is a very strange thing is a feature documentary made over 2 years by Sydneysiders Les McLaren and Annie Stiven.

It reveals the unlikely story of an unusual Frenchman – Frédéric.  We discover his remarkable family and friends, and through them slices of French history and a vivid portrait of life in France today.

Les and Annie first met Frédéric in Papua New Guinea recording traditional music in remote villages.  Forty years later in France he’s a retired multinational executive, divorced, with an ancient companion dog, a feast of stories and a zest for life.

Family snapshots reveal his grandfather who was a colonial Governor in Indochina, his father Charles Duvelle whose pioneering African recordings helped kick-start World Music, niece Elvire who is an activist with FEMEN, and daughter Marion who narrowly escaped a terrorist attack in Paris.

Frédéric is curious, witty, and a compulsive collector.  His encounters in cafes and brocante shops in Paris and Bordeaux, and over lunch with neighbours build an intriguing, funny and cinematic portrait by an outsider - with questions of what it is to be French in the 21st century.

Limited screenings start in May, and can only be booked online at: