One of the finest films of 2022 is the narrative debut of documentarian Alice Diop, Saint Omer. Selected as France’s Oscar entry, the multiple Venice award winner is inspired by Diop’s real-life experience of attending trial of Senegalese mother Fabienne Kabou, who walked to the beach in Berck-Sur-Mar and left her 15-month-old daughter to get swept away by the ocean. We caught up with the filmmaker to discuss the searing courtroom drama at New York Film Festival and now ahead of a January 2023 release, the new U.S. trailer has arrived.
Jake Kring-Schreifels said in his NYFF review, “Saint Omer isn’t a movie concerned specifically with a verdict. It asks you to listen, to observe and consider a tragedy and its ripples within a community. Near the end of the trial Coly’s barrister makes an impassioned closing statement appealing to the undying biological connection a mother shares with her child, through life and death. It’s not meant to reframe the crime that’s been committed; instead it asks everyone to examine and face down the monsters and madness that lurk within themselves. For Rama it’s a chance to forgive, reconnect, and find the courage to accept all of motherhood’s uncertainties. “
See the trailer and poster below.
Saint Omer opens on January 13, 2023.