Director: Chris Kraus
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: Austria, Germany, France
Running Time: 125 min
Language: German and French w/ English subtitles
Sponsored by: Larry and Cindy Rappoport
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Toto (Lars Eidinger of Personal Shopper), an anxiety-ridden, misanthropic German Holocaust researcher, is in the midst of planning the Auschwitz Congress. Stressed and lashing out at his superiors, he is saddled with a new intern from France to keep an eye on him. In their first few encounters, the unconventional and erratic Zazie (two-time César winner Adèle Haenel), whose grandmother is a Holocaust survivor, fails to gain Toto’s confidence. Her frank demeanor (it does not take long for Toto to learn she is sleeping with his boss) and off-putting sense of humor come off as juvenile and unnerving.
Following a period of initial bickering and misplaced sexual tension, Toto and Zazie inadvertently come to an understanding and exchange family legacies. Although they are two generations removed from the atrocities committed during the Shoah, both Toto and Zazie still struggle with the fallout. Will learning the truth set them free from their self-imposed shackles? Or could one night of passion be enough to truly let go?
Chris Kraus’ audacious, genre-bending THE BLOOM OF YESTERDAY succeeds in wringing comedy from inconceivable brutality. The film’s irreverent, unpredictable humor comes from so far outside the norm that its jokes (at times wrong and crude) will truly surprise you.
Special Guests: Nick Pinkerton, NY Film Critic and Journalist for Sight & Sound, ArtForum, The Village Voice, Moving Image Source and Reverseshot.com
For Fans of: Comedies, dramas, foreign cinema, German cinema, irreverent humor, romance, taboo-breaking cinema
Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, and Washington Jewish Film Festival
Awards: Tokyo Grand Prix and WOWOW Viewer’s Choice Award at Tokyo International Film Festival
Reviews: “Audacious…benefits hugely from the engaging central performances of Adèle Haenel and Lars Eidinger…an entertainingly skewed, iconoclastic dramedy.” (Jessica Kiang, Variety)
“A savage yet wacky look at who gets to wield a ‘moral cudgel.’” (Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times)