Special Presentations

Catch the Wind

Gaël Morel

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A middle-aged factory worker's life is upended when she follows her employer to Morocco, in the latest film from French actor-director Gaël More.

As part of the TIFF Speaker Series, scholar Joseph Wong will join the filmmaker for an extended conversation at the second public screening.

Factories often relocate in search of cheaper labour, but the same cannot be said for factory workers; they stay behind. In his latest feature, Catch the Wind, writer-director Gaël Morel challenges this status quo, exploring what happens when seemingly conventional characters make unconventional choices.

When Edith (Sandrine Bonnaire, also appearing at this year's Festival in A Season in France) is informed that the job she's held for her entire adult life is being relocated to Morocco, she refuses to accept a healthy severance package. Against the advice of her colleagues, her self-absorbed son, and even the consultant hired to fire her, Edith instead opts to follow her job to Tangier. Arriving with the naïve energy of a teenager on their first overseas trip, Edith realizes before long what she's up against: the expected subpar working conditions and subpar pay, but also an adjustment to new social and cultural realities — nuances that her failure to grasp would mean her job and, more importantly, her dignity.

Bonnaire disappears into the role of Edith, with cinematographer David Chambille's camera closely following her changing expressions and body language as her relationship with her surroundings evolves. Whether capturing the complexities of her daily commute, the rhythms of her work at the factory, or the moments of tension and tenderness with her new colleagues and friends, Morel's filmmaking thrives in the detail. Though intimate in scale, Catch the Wind demands that we question widely held notions of what it means to be useful and appreciate what it means to have choice.

KERRI CRADDOCK

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