Following on from Polisse, Jury Prize 2011, and Mon Roi (My King), winning Emmanuelle Bercot the Best Actress Award in 2015, Maïwenn is back in Official Selection with ADN (DNA). Inspired by the actor and director's own experience, the film is a reflection on loss and family roots, shot through with a touch of humour. Distributed by Le Pacte, ADN (DNA) is in cinemas across France from 28 October.
Divorced mother of three Neige regularly visits Émir, her much-loved Algerian grandfather, who now lives in a retirement home. Émir's death triggers turmoil within the family, throwing Neige's sense of identity into crisis and inspiring her to dig deep to discover and understand her own DNA.
Playing the leading role in her new film, Maïwenn draws heavily on her own quest to uncover her Algerian heritage. But buried witin the folds of the personal narrative that has us crying with both sorrow and joy, lies a wider reflection on identity and memory that will undoubtedly resonate with the crowds.
"What did my parents leave me? What did my grandparents leave me? What do I hope to leave behind me when I am gone?"
So many questions that arise following the death of a loved one, and ones that Maïwenn chooses to answer in a screenplay tackling loss and written with Mathieu Demy, and by embracing a directing style that gives the cast the freedom to improvise, with performances from Fanny Ardant as her mother, Alain Françon as her father, Marine Vacht as her sister, and Louis Garrel as her ex turned best friend.
Maïwenn ultimately brings us a luminous, moving film that takes a wordless stand against racism, and serves as a tender tribute to immigrants' families.