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First Look at Gael García Bernal and Marine Vacth in ‘If You Saw His Heart’

Written by on March 20, 2017 

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After making a distinct impression at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with Pablo Larraín’s cleverly-directed drama Neruda, will Gael García Bernal return to the festival this year? The first images have debuted for one of his next films, If You Saw His Heart, which marks the directorial debut of Joan Chemla.

Also starring Marine Vacth, who was fantastic in François Ozon’s Young & Beautiful, the film noir follows Bernal’s character Daniel, who is cast out of his gypsy community after his best friend dies. He finds refuge in a hotel for broken souls and drifts into crime, but an unexpected ray of light enlivens his existence when he meets Francine.

“It a moving and hypnotic film noir in the vein of Takeshi Kitano or James Gray,” said producer Pierre Guyard. As we await word of a premiere, check out the new images above and below for the film based on Guillermo Rosales’ book Halfway House, along with a synopsis of the novel.

The Halfway House is a trip to the darkest corners of the human condition. Humiliations, filth, stench, and physical abuse comprise the asphyxiating atmosphere of a halfway house for indigents in Miami where, in a shaken mental state, the writer William Figueras lives after his exile from Cuba. He claims to have gone crazy after the Cuban government judged his first novel “morose, pornographic, and also irreverent, because it dealt harshly with the Communist Party,” and prohibited its publication. By the time he arrives in Miami twenty years later, he is a “toothless, skinny, frightened guy who had to be admitted to a psychiatric ward that very day” instead of the ready-for-success exile his relatives expected to welcome and receive among them. Placed in a halfway house, with its trapped bestial inhabitants and abusive overseers, he enters a hell. Romance appears in the form of Frances, a mentally fragile woman and an angel, with whom he tries to escape in this apocalyptic classic of Cuban literature.

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