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Part of SFFILM Festival

Oh Mercy!

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin

France | Fiction | 119

17 Apr
Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 8:45 pm PT
18 Apr
Sat, Apr 18 at 9:30 pm PT
Dolby Cinema at 1275 Market


Director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings & Queen, Festival 2005) returns to his beloved hometown of Roubaix, but shifts gears from the family-centered dramas he’s known for to this tense police procedural. Police forces, though, often take on familial dynamics, and this film’s benevolent patriarch is kind-hearted Chief Daoud (Roschdy Zem). Uncovering the truth behind cases involving disappearance, murder, and arson, Daoud and his team uncover a town of simmering religious tensions and unchecked poverty. The always wonderful Léa Seydoux and Sara Forestier co-star.

Oh Mercy! is a striking stylistic departure for Desplechin. By the standards of florid pseudo auto-biopics such as Kings and Queen and Ismael’s Ghosts this film is an exercise in formal and tonal restraint. Desplechin has cited The Wrong Man as an influence here, and one can see the Alfred Hitchcock film’s docudramatic legacy in prolonged sequences that savor the particulars.” –Chuck Bowen, Slant

Director Arnaud Desplechin

Arnaud Desplechin began his film career in the 1980s as a cinematographer before moving into writing and directing. He made his directorial debut with La vie des morts (1991), winning the Prix Jean Vigo for Short Film. He received César Award nominations for Best First Work and Best Screenplay for La sentinelle (1992), his inaugural feature. Among his other films are Esther Kahn (2000), Kings & Queen (Festival 2005), A Christmas Tale (2008), My Golden Days (2015), and Ismael’s Ghosts (2017).



Film Details

Language French

Original Language Title Roubaix, une lumière

Year 2019

Runtime 119

Country France

Director Arnaud Desplechin

Producer Pascal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat

Writer Arnaud Desplechin, Léa Mysius

Editor Laurence Briaud

Cinematographer Irina Lubtchansky

Music Grégoire Hetzel

Cast Roschdy Zem, Léa Seydoux, Sara Forestier