Bienvenue to the Boston French Film Festival, which returns in person for the first time since 2019. Seven films (all in French with English subtitles) are on this year’s petite program, which runs Aug. 18-21 with screenings at the Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161) at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Despite the relatively small lineup this year, the selected films pack an emotional punch. The festival’s curator, Katherine Irving, noted in an interview that a common theme is “trauma and healing.” “These films are here to transform us,” she said, “not just entertain us.”
The opening film is “Full Time,” a thriller starring Laure Calamy as a single mother trying to make it to a job interview during a transit strike. Also showing are “Robust,” a comedy about a crotchety actor (Gérard Depardieu) and his new bodyguard, an amateur wrestler (Déborah Lukumuena); “Incredible But True,” a sci-fi fable about a couple who encounter something supernatural about their new suburban home; and “Lost Illusions,” a costume drama that won the César Award for best film. Based on a novel by Honoré de Balzac, it follows a young poet (César Award winner Benjamin Voisin) in 1820s Paris whose literary dreams are compromised when he starts penning theater reviews for bribes.
MFA Film and Wicked Queer are also presenting a special 25th anniversary screening, on 35mm film, of 1997′s “My Life In Pink.” Directed by Alain Berliner, the film tells the story of Ludo, a transgender child.
Mathieu Amalric’s “Hold Me Tight” is the festival’s closing film, starring Vicky Krieps (”Phantom Thread”) as a mother who has seemingly abandoned her husband and children, in this portrait of grief and loss.
Irving noted that screening these films at the MFA, “in an institution that’s designed to uphold and interrogate important artworks . . . really frames them in a unique light.”
For tickets to individual screenings, visit www.mfa.org/programs/series/the-boston-french-film-festival.
Danielle Momoh was a Globe intern in 2022.