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The mysterious Monsieur Jacques by Anne-Katrin Titze

Designer Herbert Kasper with "Monsieur Jacques" Jean-Yves Ollivier in Carlos Agulló and Mandy Jacobson's integral Plot For Peace: "There was a similarity between the situation in Algeria and the one I found in South Africa." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Beverly Johnson and Herbert Kasper hosted a special screening of Plot For Peace in New York at Florence Gould Hall with Jean-Yves Ollivier in conversation and an after party at the home of designer Kasper. Among those attending were Ajak Deng, journalist Bill Blakemore, seen in Rodney Ascher's Room 237, Yvonne Durant, Celia Weston, Bill Wright, June Terry and John J. Daniszewski (AP's VP Senior Managing Editor).

In my conversation with Jean-Yves Ollivier at Kasper's, Bertrand Tavernier's Quai d'Orsay (The French Minister) morphed into Volker Schlöndorff's Diplomatie (Diplomacy), while Albert Camus' mother and his Algerian roots were stated as influencing him.

Jean-Yves Ollivier with Nelson Mandela
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Replaying the Plot: An interview with the creators of Plot for Peace

Luke Graham chats to the creators of Plot for Peace...

Plot for Peace, which came out in the UK a few weeks ago, but was first released in November in France, is the revealing documentary about a little-known piece of history. Jean-Ives Ollivier, a French-Algerian businessman, is presented to the audience as an architect for peace in South Africa, working behind the scenes in the corridors of power to bring down apartheid and even, as the film implies, help bring about the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

The story of this unassuming Frenchmen, a commodities trader who made his fortune selling grain, was initially discovered by Mandy Jacobson (Calling the Ghosts), the producer and director of Plot for Peace. A veteran documentary-maker, she had already made four documentaries about Nelson Mandela for Sabc:

“I run a project for a foundation which has started a very ambitious heritage project
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DVD Review - Plot for Peace (2013)

Plot for Peace, 2013.

Directed by Carlos Agulló and Mandy Jacobson.

Synopsis:

A documentary that reveals the untold story of apartheid's fall, and the mysterious French businessman who was instrumental in Nelson Mandela's release from jail.

Originally released in France in November last year, Plot for Peace is an intriguing documentary about an inconspicuous businessman named Jean-Yves Ollivier, whose mild-mannered dabbling in African politics helped avert crises, end apartheid and free Nelson Mandela.

Ollivier, a French-Algerian, made a fortune trading cereal, oil and coal around Europe and Africa, and, as the documentary reveals, used his extensive contacts and influence during the 1980s in an attempt to end apartheid and assist in bringing peace to Africa. The continent was heavily divided, not only over apartheid in South Africa, but politically: this was the height of the Cold War and many African states were Marxist or Communist.

The documentary begins quietly, with Ollivier playing Solitaire,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Rocket, Under The Skin, The Zero Theorem: this week's new films

The Rocket | Under The Skin | The Zero Theorem | Suzanne | Veronica Mars | Need For Speed | Plot For Peace

The Rocket (12A)

(Kim Mordaunt, 2013, Aus/Thai/Laos) Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi. 96 mins

Children are often the best ambassadors for world cinema and so it proves here, in a Laos-set tale that's sympathetic but never condescending. The story centres on a displaced boy burdened by a perceived "curse". But it's told with documentary-like conviction and distinctly local details, from James Brown-worshipping war vets to the unexploded ordnance littering the landscape.

Under The Skin (15)

(Jonathan Glazer, 2013, UK) Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan. Krystof Hádek. 108 mins

Glazer's delectably mystifying sci-fi makes Glasgow look like another planet – as seen through the eyes of Johansson's alien seductress, on the prowl for unsuspecting males. It sounds like a highbrow Species, but the imagery and sustained strangeness put it in a realm of its own.

The Zero Theorem (15)

(Terry Gilliam,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Plot For Peace Review

The opening shot to this fascinating documentary shows an unassuming man playing a card game, accompanied by a voiceover. The setting itself feels theatrical, as though subsequent events are a new fictional-feature spin on the release of one of the world’s most iconic statesmen, Nelson Mandela, and the end of Apartheid in South Africa. We soon learn that this is French-Algerian businessman and international diplomat Jean-Yves Ollivier, known as ‘Monsieur Jacques’. He’s real and has quite a story to tell, doing so in an unanticipated fashion.

This well-kept ‘secret weapon’ behind Mandela’s release is supported by on-camera confirmation from a ‘star-studded cast’, including Winnie Mandela (Anc activist and Mandela’s ex), Thabo Mbeki (former President of South Africa) and even Pik Botha (former Minister of Foreign Affairs for South Africa at the time), plus other heads of state, generals, diplomats, master spies, etc. The film skilfully uses
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Broken Circle Breakdown triumphs in Palm Springs

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Broken Circle Breakdown triumphs in Palm Springs
Updated Jan 12: Lakshmi wins narrative audience award; Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia earns doc honours.

Top brass at the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced on January 12 that Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi (India) had been awarded the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Meanwhile Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia (Us) directed by Nicholas Wrathall won the audience award for best documentary feature.

In the juried awards announced on January 11, Felix van Groeningen’s shortlisted Belgian foreign language Oscar contender The Broken Circle Breakdown won the Fipresci Prize for best foreign language film of the year at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 11.

Mads Mikkelsen of Thomas Vinterberg’s Oscar shortlisted Danish feature The Hunt won the Fipresci Prize for the best actor of the year in a foreign language film, while Bérénice Bejo took the corresponding actress honour for Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian Oscar submission The Past.

Andrea Pallaoro
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Broken Circle triumphs at Palm Springs

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Broken Circle triumphs at Palm Springs
Felix van Groeningen’s shortlisted Belgian foreign language Oscar contender The Broken Circle Breakdown won the Fipresci Prize for best foreign language film of the year at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 11.

Mads Mikkelsen of Thomas Vinterberg’s Oscar shortlisted Danish featureThe Hunt won the Fipresci Prize for the best actor of the year in a foreign language film, while Bérénice Bejo took the corresponding actress honour for Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian Oscar submission The Past.

Andrea Pallaoro prevailed in the New Voices/New Visions contest for his Us film Medeas and a special mention went to Left Foot Right Foot (Switzerland), by Germinal Roaux.

The Cine Latino Award was presented to two films: Amat Escalante’s Heli (Mexico) and David Trueba’s Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed (Spain). Sebastian Lelio’s Colombian film Gloria earned a special mention.

The John Schlesinger Award for a first-time documentary film-maker/s went to [link
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Stockholm unveils 2013 line-up

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Stockholm unveils 2013 line-up
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave to open festival; director Peter Greenaway to receive Visionary Award.Scroll down for full line-up

Steve McQueen’s historic drama 12 Years a Slave is to open the Stockholm International Film Festival (Nov 6-17) and is nominated in the Stockholm Xxiv Competition.

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, the drama about free black man kidnapped from his family and sold into slavery in the 1850s debuted at Telluride and has received positive reactions throughout its festival tour of Toronto, New York and London among others.

It will be released in Sweden on Dec 20 by Ab Svensk Filmindustri.

Screenwriter John Ridley, who will be present during the festival, is nominated for the Aluminum Horse in the category Best Script.

McQueen’s Hunger won Best Directorial Debut at Stockholm in 2008.

Line-up

The 24th Siff includes more than 180 films from more than 50 countries.

As previously announced, the spotlight of this year’s festival is freedom but Chinese artist
See full article at ScreenDaily »

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