Paris Memories (Revoir Paris)
While sitting at a restaurant one night, Mia’s (Virgnia Efira) life is suddenly ripped apart when a mass shooting erupts. As she regains consciousness, wounded and with no memory after the shooting started, Mia makes it her goal to find out what happened that fateful night and to track down the stranger who helped her survive. In Paris Memories, writer-director Alice Winocour has crafted a tender tale of humanity and compassion as the characters bond over their shared experience.
Efira’s sensational performance drives the way. Throughout the progression of her journey, the protagonist undergoes a heavy emotional toll. Mia’s experience is a whirlwind of devastating blows and even euphoric highs as she begins to bond with the other survivors – one of them Thomas (Benoit Magimel), with whom Mia develops an especially close relationship. However, this film isn’t solely about Mia’s ordeal. The script (no matter how briefly) tells the stories of dozens of others connected to the event at hand. From survivors to their families and friends, the filmmaker uses Mia’s journey as an anchoring point to paint a much broader and more heartfelt portrait of heartache and loss.
However, Paris Memories isn’t a tragedy as such. It is, above all, a celebration of humanity’s ability to bond and connect amid hardships, through the snippets of stories told, the small but immensely significant acts of kindness from strangers, and the various ways each character is handling their trauma. All of this is neatly contained within Mia’s own journey to say “thank you” to someone who held her hand when she needed them by her side.
The brutal eruption of violence is sudden, shocking and disturbing, but this isn’t about violence. This is a film about love, dedication and companionship. And it makes for a riveting and devastating viewing experience.
Paris Memories (Revoir Paris) does not have a UK release date yet.
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