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A timely true-life story of courage in the face of unimaginable dangers and horrors, this moving and compelling drama marks a triumph for its lead and its director, both of whom have continually impressed audiences at KCFF. Sophie Nélisse, the extraordinary actor who made her acclaimed screen debut in MONSIEUR LAZHAR (KCFF12), stars as Irena Gut Opdyke, a nurse in WWII-era Poland who hides a group of Jewish people in the cellar of the home where she’s working as a housekeeper. What makes her actions even riskier is that her employer is a Nazi officer. Exhibiting the same care and sensitivity she brought to such films as GABRIELLE – which opened KCFF in 2014 – director Louise Archambault conveys Opdyke’s story with great vividness and power.
Director: Louise Archambault
Cast: Sophie Nélisse, Dougray Scott, Andrzej Seweryn
Runtime: 121 minutes
Content advisory: violence, coarse language, sexual content
Award-winning filmmaker Louise Archambault began her career in the Quebec film industry holding a variety of posts, including still photographer, line producer and assistant director.
Familia (2005), her debut feature-length fiction film, was well received domestically and internationally. It won the City TV Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and the Claude-Jutra Award for Best First Film.
Archambault’s brilliant foray into the world of commercial cinema was followed by Gabrielle (2013), a multi-award-winning production. A touching and mesmerizing film, it introduces the talented Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, a young actress and singer with Williams syndrome. Narrowly missing a nomination as Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, Gabrielle received multiple awards at home: Best Picture and Best Actress at the Canadian Screen Awards. It won in five categories at the 16th Soirée des prix Jutra. (Meilleure réalisation, Meilleur montage, Meilleur scénario, Meilleure actrice de soutien, Film s’étant le plus illustré à l’extérieur du Québec).
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