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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #32. Joachim Lafosse’s The White Knights

The White Knights

Director: Joachim Lafosse // Writer: Zelia Abadie, Bulle Decarpentries, Joachim Lafosse, Thomas van Zuylen

Belgian director Joachim Lafosse seems fascinated with incredibly uncomfortable subject matters, known for transgressing awkward familial dynamics in films like the Isabelle Huppert headlined Private Property (2006), an inappropriate student/teacher relationship in Private Lessons (2008), and in his most notable title to date, infanticide in Our Children (2012), which played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and nabbed Emilie Dequenne a special Best Actress prize in that sidebar (the film also starred Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup). His next title, which stands as Lafosse’s sixth feature film, The White Knights, focuses on humanitarian work and stars Vincent Lindon as the head of an NGO working to extract 300 children from a civil war raging in Chad so that they may be relocated to adoptive French families. Lindon is an incredibly prominent screen presence in France, lately starring in Claire Denis’ Bastards and reteaming in 2014 with Fred Cavaye for Mea Culpa, while we can also see him in 2015 in Benoit Jacquot’s update of Diary of a Chambermaid. Lafosse recasts Yannick Renier (brother of Jeremie), after having worked together on Private Property, while Reda Kateb is always a welcome addition to any lineup. We’re thrilled to see Valerie Donzelli in front of the cameras in a high profile project, and this should help Louise Bourgoin further cement her removal from grating ingénue status (though anyone who’s caught her last several titles, such as Nicloux’s The Nun, may already have concluded that).

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Louise Bourgoin, Valerie Donzelli, Reda Kateb, Yannick Renier

Production Co.: Versus Production, Les Films du Worso

U.S. Distributor: Rights available

Release Date: After his Huppert film, Lafosse snagged a Director’s Fortnight slot in 2008 with Private Lessons and went to Un Certain Regard in 2012. The high pedigree of The White Knights will either see another UCR slot or quite possible an entry in the main competition.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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