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A woman and man sitting outside on a bench.

SFFILM Festival

Sidonie in Japan

Directed by Élise Girard

Japan | Fiction | 95

26 Apr
Fri, Apr 26 at 3:30 pm PT


Isabelle Huppert, one of the best actors working today, crafts a uniquely soft and vulnerable character in Élise Girard’s low-key charmer. The eponymous Sidonie is a writer, predominantly known for an early novel that charted her grief after the deaths of family members in a car crash. Now grieving another loss, she agrees to a brief tour in Japan to celebrate a new translation of this book, accompanied by soft-spoken interpreter Kenzo (Tsuyoshi Ihara). What unfolds is a moving and gentle portrait of a woman slowly emerging from her protective carapace through probing conversations with Kenzo, a side trip to the famous art island of Naoshima, and the ghostly return of her deceased husband. Eschewing broad strokes of closure, Girard instead grabs at the heart with a beautifully nuanced look at a woman who finds a new lease on life.

Director Élise Girard

Élise Girard was a press agent before she turned to filmmaking, beginning her career with two documentaries, Seuls sont les indomptés – L’aventure des cinémas action (2003) and Roger Diamantis ou La vraie vie (2005). She made her narrative feature debut with Belleville-Tokyo (2010), followed by Strange Birds (2017).

Film Details

Language French, English, Japanese

Original Language Title Sidonie au Japon

Year 2023

Premiere US

Runtime 95

Country Japan/Switzerland/Germany/France

Director Élise Girard

Executive Producer 10:15 Productions

Producer Sebastien Haguenauer

Writer Élise Girard

Editor Thomas Glaser

Cinematographer Céline Bozon

Cast Isabelle Huppert, August Diehl, Tsuyoshi Ihara

Closed Captions Closed Captions are not yet confirmed for this program

Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not yet confirmed for this program

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently scheduled for this film