Seaside (Bord de mer)

Directed by Julie Lopes-Curval. France. 2002.

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Have you ever experienced being ‘at one’with a film?  You go to the cinema to watch a film, you end up being so submerged in it that you feel as if you are actually there in amongst the characters. Bord de mer is such a film. 

This film can totally absorb you. The tranquillity, the unspoilt scenery, the characters - everything about it is so natural that you feel as though these are real people, that you are actually in this seaside place with this very, very long beach. You become one of them, you see what they see, you feel what they feel.  Such is the strength of the performing cast.  They seem so natural that you do not feel that they are acting!

Pebbles (Bord de mer). All Rights Reserved.Bord de mer is about life in a small town.  It could be any small town, but the scene is set in France. It shows you how the lives of several families are intertwined. Here the director reveals the fruits of her detailed observation of interpersonal relationships.  The tempo is exactly right for the life of a small town. The director moves in an unhurried pace, gradually revealing the anxiety, the aspirations, different expectations in the various characters, the pain, the frustration, the calmness, the acceptance … all the variations in life that fate and chance can bring.  All the characters are so believable and true to life and their emotions are shown in such great details.

For a first feature film for such a young director, the achievement and the end product is remarkable. Not only does she show a very mature approach to the subject, she also shows that she is extremely talented in film-making. The story is well told and well shot, the performers beautifully directed, the location is perfect for the story. If this is a first feature film, which is usually with limited resources, can you imagine what a big budget film with this director will end up like? Bord de mer as the winner of the Camera d’Or Award at last year’s (2002) Cannes Film Festival is really and truly well deserved!

Sonya Bo-Lynx


When I attended a discussion after seeing Bord de mer, the director, Julia Lopez-Curval, stated her preference for the translation of the title of the film as Pebbles because of its relevance in the film. However, I noticed that the printed programme of the cinema referred to it as Seaside, which is a  straight French to English translation. 
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