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La traversée (2001)



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Cast overview:
Stéphane Bouquet ...


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Release Date:

13 June 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Crossing  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

A story of a search that comes up short.
26 April 2002 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Stéphane, a young gay Frenchman comes to America in search of his father who he has never met. It seems that the young man's mother had an affair with a young American serviceman. When DeGaulle asked the US Army to leave France, the serviceman was shipped home without ever knowing he was to have a son.

CAUTION *** The remainder may contain some SPOILERS

Through voice-overs we learn the young man doesn't know whether his father is alive or dead. He thinks perhaps he died in Viet Nam. The mother doesn't have a recent address for the father and the young man leaves the only address that they do have in France. Apparently with no advance planning and no calling ahead, Stéphane and the filmmaker just get on a plane and go looking.

I recently saw this film at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and was frustrated by this disorganized approach throughout much of the film. I felt as if I were in the backseat of a car driven by a very lost driver. Although they know that the father lived in the South, the filmmakers come to New York, apparently because, as a child, Stéphane fantasized that his father had a big apartment in New York. Since the father was a serviceman and left France before the end of the Vietnam War, they trek to the Vietnam Memorial to see if he's listed. Again, no calling ahead, no checking the Internet, just jump on a train and go to look at the wall in DC.

Of course, if they had called ahead there may not have been much to show in the movie. When they do arrive down south and eventually find the father that they have been looking for, we don't see the reunion. We do hear the meeting described by Stéphane but with very few details. We only see one short clip with the man purported to be the father and we get almost no questions answered about him. We learn nothing about the half sister or the half brother other than that they exist. Overall I felt a bit cheated by this film. It seemed to deliver a lot less than it promised.

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