Gagarine (12A) at South Hill Park
Time & Location
About the Event
Directed by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh | Drama | French | 95 mins | France | 2020
Set in Cité Gagarine – a vast red brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris – the film concocts a fantastical fiction around its real-life demolition in August 2019.
Isolated, inventive 16-year-old Yuri (an astonishing performance from Alseni Bathily) has lived in Cité Gagarine all his life. He dreams of becoming an astronaut, inspired by his namesake and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is seen in ’60s archive footage opening the complex in a more optimistic age. But now the Gagarine is in disrepair and when plans to demolish it are leaked, Yuri joins with friends Diana (Lyna Khoudri) and Houssam (Jamil McCraven) in an attempt to save it – in a stunning, magical turn, transforming the estate into his very own ‘starship’.
Wildly imaginative, Gagarine explores themes of isolation and community, using the physical authenticity of its setting to ground its starry-eyed metaphysics so that they seem almost plausible too. Exploring how we communicate with buildings, how they entwine with our memories, imaginations and selves, and how we cope with the effects of forces outside our control, it’s a tender study of stratospheric aspirations thriving against the odds.
Filled with imaginative, vibrant visuals and an (inter) stellar lead performance EMPIRE
Free of cliché, visually ingenious, Gagarine is a pleasure — pure magic realism, a homespun spectacular FINANCIAL TIMES