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Retour à Genoa City

Benoît Grimalt
France, 2017
Production : Entre2prises - E2P, Baldanders Films, Le Snark



Granny and her brother Uncle Thomas have watched the same soap opera, every day at the same time, since 1989. Twenty years after leaving Nice, I return to see them so they can fill me in on the 3827 episodes I've missed.

Directors' Fortnight

Tënk's film review

“Back to Genoa City” is all about tone. Quirky and zany, Benoît Grimalt’s return to his family turns Mémé and Tonton Thomas into characters from a soap opera. But this is a soap opera where life goes by so slowly that only a generous dose of humour makes it possible to alleviate the boredom. The adventures of Jack, Pamela and Ross blend mischievously into those of this family from Naples who emigrated to Algiers and then had to move to Nice. In delicious parallel editing, the actor on TV tries in vain to get the uncle to talk. It’s hilarious and tender at the same time, for behind the clownish joking lies a magnificent homage to any family legend. Just like on TV, the lines between real and fictitious lives sometimes blur. History and loved ones disappear, leaving only faces and lots of affection.

Éva Tourrent
Tënk's Artistic Director

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Benoît Grimalt

Benoît Grimalt was born in 1975 in Nice. He’s a photographer. But not only a photographer – in 2009, he made a documentary, “Not all fuels are the same” – so he’s also a filmmaker. But not only a filmmaker, because in 2012, he published a book of drawings ("16 photos que je n'ai pas prises", or "16 photos I didn’t take"). So he’s also an artist. His second documentary, “Retour à Genoa City”, will be even more successful than his first as it’s won awards at several festivals such as Directors’ Fortnight, Cinémed and Premiers Plans.

Other films in the collection: Cream of the screens