Little Bear

By Nicolas Birkenstock | Drama
A young girl sleepwalks and runs away at night. Now she wants to see where she goes...

Offered since 2011, MyFrenchFilmFestival showcases the breathtaking diversity and quality of contemporary French cinema. Omeleto is proud to partner with UniFrance to highlight short film selections from the collection, which range from charming children’s animations to gritty psychodramas to quietly resonant family narratives. No matter what the genre, this group of shorts highlights the creative risk-taking and emotional depth that makes French cinematic art uniquely vibrant.

A poetic, thoughtful coming-of-age drama written and directed by Nicolas Birkenstock, "Little Bear" explores an intelligent teenager's unique way of growing up and striking out on her own. With patient, character-centered writing and an excellent performance by actor Armande Boulanger as the titular character, the storytelling weaves an atmosphere that's equal parts ordinary, mysterious and suspenseful, leading to a quietly rhapsodic conclusion.

Ourse (the French word for "bear") and her mother are grieving a loss and have not been able to move on, and this inner pain has manifested itself in different ways. Ourse's mother has found a secret lover; Ourse herself keeps people at bay. But she has started sleepwalking, walking through their small town at night on a dangerous route to a place she keeps returning to, again and again.

Her mother attempts to keep Ourse safe, but Ourse doesn't want to stop her nocturnal, unconscious rambles. With the help of her clever, eccentric friend Jordan, they get to the heart of Ourse's internal mystery -- a journey that will take them through a narrative terrain of small rebellions, buried grief and overflowing tenderness. "Little Bear" may begin as a modern teenage girl's first movements towards identity and independence, but it becomes a cosmic contemporary fairy tale of the innate wisdom of the heart.

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