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: au.demand.film/life-strange-thing/