Young French Cinema 2022: Good Mother w/The Departure
Director: Hafsia Herzi Run Time: 123 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2021
Starring: Halima Benhamed, Jawed Hannachi Herzi, Justine Grégory, Noémie Casari, Sabrina Benhamed
Bonne mère/Good Mother is presented at the Film Center and in our Virtual Screening Room as part of Young French Cinema.
Presentations at the Film Center include New French Shorts program selection Le Départ/The Departure from Saïd Hamich Benlarbi.
Premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2021. Though Hafsia Herzi made an indelible impression with her acting debut in Abdellatif Kechiche’s The Secret of the Grain and later appearances in films by auteurs Bertrand Bonnello and Alain Guiraudie, it seems likely her work as a director will soon eclipse her acting career. After the raw but vibrant You Deserve a Lover, her first film as writer-director, Herzi reveals the breadth of her cinematic ambition with Bonne Mère, a tribute to hard-working single mothers and specifically to her own mother, who raised her alone in the housing estates of northern Marseille.
“firmly establishes actor turned writer/director Hafsia Herzi as a significant French filmmaker”
—Lisa Nesselson for Screen Daily
Shot in Herzi’s childhood neighborhood, Bonne Mère takes a documentary approach to the struggles of a woman supporting her children and grandchildren, capturing the tedium of the pre-dawn commute to work, the sadness of visits to a son in jail, and the nagging anger of being relegated to a neglected corner of society. Yet perhaps Herzi’s greatest gift is in capturing the resilience and humor that drives the people she films, most of whom are local non-professionals whose Marseille accents sing to you whether or not you speak French. At the center of them all is first-time actress Halima Benhamed, a revelation as the tired, devoted, and endlessly patient Nora.Young French Cinema 2022 Program See our upcoming films