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A Look At "Le Bonheur d'Elza" - A Young Woman's Search For The Father She Never Met

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 10, 2011 4:21 AM
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Released in Paris in April, with no word on whether it'll travel (though it screened in Martinique as well), is Mariette Monpierre's Le bonheur d'Elza (which I believe translates to English as Elza's Happiness, although, you French speakers out there can correct me if I'm wrong).

Synopsis, according to IMDB, reads: Bernadette gave everything to her daughters. Nothing is ever enough for them. Elza completes her master's degree in mathematics summa cum laude. She is the first college graduate of the family, a wonderful present for her mother who expects even more from her elder: a PHD. But Elza ruins her mothers' happiness when she leaves against her wishes and flies to Guadeloupe looking for the father that's she never met. Elza takes us with passion and perseverance in this lush island of light that holds many surprises.

I couldn't immediately find anything more about the film, except what's on its Facebook page, which is all in French (specifically, the posts and following comments), and I'm too lazy to try and translate all of it; but if anyone wants to take a stab at it go HERE.

Although, from the little I gather, much of it is praise for the work. Lots of photos from past screenings, and behind-the-scenes shots.

Usually when I post new films like this, I eventually get an email from someone affiliated with it, who'll provide me the rest of the story, which I'll then post here... assuming that happens this time.

Watch the trailer below, which is in French, and not subtitled:

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  • mariette Monpierre | May 12, 2011 11:45 AMReply

    Please contact me @ for all information in English on the film. I can send them to you right away.
    Thank you for your interest.

  • Cynthia | May 11, 2011 3:21 AMReply

    Thanks for the translation Nzingha! This is definitely on my "one to watch" list.

  • Nzingha Kendall | May 10, 2011 8:44 AMReply

    Longtime reader, occasional poster. Congrats on the migration to IndieWire.

    Here's my attempt at a translation of the synopsis from the film's Facebook page. After watching the trailer, I'm curious about the rest of the film. Hope it gets a wider distribution!

    In spite of a reserved modesty that's been passed on from generation to generation, Bernadette lovingly gave everything to her two daughters. Nothing is too good for them. Elza brilliantly completed her studies in math, obtaining a master's degree. Nevertheless, Bernadette still wants more: for Elza to pass the prestigious French national exam. Instead Elza goes against her mother's wishes, traveling throughout Guadeloupe, and in turn ruining Bernadette's happiness.

    Is this the only way for Elza to escape the force of Bernadette's intense maternal love? Does Elza have the courage to admit that she's in love? Why is the Antilles so important [to her]? With passion and determination, Elza takes us on a journey to this light-filled island, a place that is full of surprises.

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