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The Crossing (Original title: La Traversée)

MAUR film 2021

★★★★★

Movie Corner

By HOWARD MCQUITTER

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is back in person! A special gem of the festival is The Crossing.

This animated film follows two children, Kyona (Emilie Lan Dürr) and Adriel (Maxime Gemin), siblings who return from playing in the forest to their village and witness an unspecified group of hooded soldiers who have come to massacre the Yelzid people. Immediately Kyona, Adriel, their parents and two younger siblings pack their belongings and flee. They manage to catch a train packed with others who have also fled the village. However, the ride on the train is thwarted by soldiers for Control detaining the family by force on the platform. Kyona and Adriel decide to proceed alone across the border, hoping for safety.

But it is the opening scene that gives a blueprint for this colorful animation painted in oil paint

on glass. Kyona has a sketchbook, a gift from her father which she will take through her perilous journey. There will be a time when she’s temporarily separated from Ahriel during a blizzard when she stays with a kindly old woman. Later, the two siblings reunite and reside in Stemetsvar where they get involved with a young gang of street thieves, the Ravens, led by Iskender (Arthur Pereira). Her bag with the precious sketchbook is snatched. Thankfully, she gets her bag and sketchbook back.

Later they join a traveling circus under the headship of Madame (Aline Afanoukoe). During the short duration with the circus, a young man Erdewan (Axel Auriant) has romantic interests in Kyona. By this time the two siblings have nearly grown up.

When Kyona and Adriel leave the circus they are captured and thrown into a detention camp. Determined to free themselves from tyranny they, along with a few others in the camp, escape with hope to reach the border.

The Crossing is an extraordinarily beautiful expressionist form of animation. Never before, to my knowledge, has animation been oil paintings on glass. A great tribute to the director Florence Miailhe and screenwriter Marie Desplechin.

Cast:Emilie Lan Dürr (Kyona), Maxime Gemin (Adriel), Serge Avedikian (Jon), Axel Auriant

(Erdewan), Jocelyne Desverchère ( Florabelle della Chiusa), Marc Brunet (Maxime della Chiusa), Aline Afanoukoe (Madame), Polina Borisova (Shaké), Mehdi Guerbas (Issawa), Samuel Debure (Le pere), Anne Cart (La mere), Hélène Vauquois (Marie), Jenny Bellay (Babayaga).

Director: Florence Miailhe.

Screenwriters: Marie Desplechin and Florence Miailhe.

Cinematography: Guillaume Hoenig.

Running time: 84 minutes. Country: France. Language: French.

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