Origin of Violence


Castro Theatre Fri, Jul 22, 2016 6:30 PM
Cinearts at Palo Alto Square Tue, Jul 26, 2016 8:35 PM
Smith Rafael Film Center Fri, Aug 5, 2016 9:20 PM
Piedmont Theatre Sat, Aug 6, 2016 6:30 PM
Film Info
Director(s):Elie Chouraqui
Editor(s):Lorenzo Fanfani
Principal Cast:Richard Berry
Stanley Weber
Cesar Chouraqui
Cinematographer:Dominique Gentil
Screenwriter(s):Elie Chouraqui
Year of Production:2015
Running Time:110 min.
Language(s):French w/ English subtitles
Premiere Status:West Coast


Sponsored by David and Fran Meckler.

Nathan Fabre teaches in a French-German school while working on his thesis about French resistance to the Nazis during World War II. During a research trip to Buchenwald, he finds a photo of a prisoner whose resemblance to his father is uncanny. When his father shrugs off his inquiries, Nathan pursues the matter himself, and his research becomes much more than academic, complicated further by his romance with a young German woman who shares her own family’s history with him. By tracking down curators and survivors and confronting family members, Nathan pieces together secrets that have been kept hidden, or nearly so, for more than 60 years. Though two generations have remained silent, the past refuses to disappear. Nathan’s determined pursuit of the truth helps him to understand his family, as well as the violent outbursts he is capable of. This dramatic French-German co-production boasts a talented cast, from Richard Berry (Rue Mandar, SFJFF 2013) as Nathan’s father Adrien, to the great Catherine Samie (The Last Letter, SFJFF 2003) as Nathan’s Aunt Clémentine. Élie Chouraqui directs this highly polished production, scored by a mix of electronic and classical music, from his adaptation of Fabrice Humbert’s semi-autobiographical, prize-winning 2009 novel of the same name. —Sara L. Rubin