A dozen red chairs, an equal number of mutually disparate life stories. Just a room and a common language, however, become a means toward understanding… Foreigners from all corners of the world meet each week at the Centre Pompidou in Paris for free lessons to hone their French. War refugees, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and students sit side-by-side, immersing themselves in both lighthearted and weighty conversations, in which cultural differences sometimes result in peaceful confrontations. The dangers of multicultural life, at times easily overcome with the help of a shared language, manifest themselves in drastic altercations, as well as in cheerfully awkward monologues, fleeting gestures, and subtle facial expressions. Minimalist in form – but all the more so due to the filmmaker’s choices – this thoroughgoing documentary captures those elusive moments in which grammatical fumblings and the painstaking search for the right word inadvertently reveal a window into the human soul. KVIFF
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