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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Screening of The Hedgehog

Posted By on Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

What looks like a fuzzy pre-teenybopper flick dabbled with mystery proves to be quite the opposite in The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson). Based on author Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog and directed by Mona Achache, the film pricks at life and all its absurdities, hardships and happiness. Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) is soon to be 12 and has big plans for her birthday. These have nothing to do with eating cake or acquiring gifts, but rather ending her own life. The overly pessimistic and oddly brilliant child is a stranger to her family: a sister who is preoccupied with her pet goldfish, a mother with psychological and substance-abuse problems and a father who is too busy as a politician to truly be dutiful to his fatherly roles.

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But when Paloma begins filming random scenes of hypocrisy among her family and other tenants in the building where she lives, a strange thing happens. She discovers that some of her fellow neighbors aren't exactly the people she thought they were. Two of the most fascinating are the building's stern concierge (Josiane Balasko), who is deeply well-read, and a rich Japanese man (Togo Igawa), who shares her literary interests and finds companionship in her company. In French and Japanese with English subtitles. A discussion, led by Roger Baumgarte, follows the screening. $5-$8. Aug. 25, 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Road. For more information, visit www.charlottefilmsociety.com.

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