Euro Film Interview: Catherine Corsini and 'Three Worlds'

Menna Taher, Wednesday 10 Oct 2012

Catherine Corsini talks to Ahram Online about 'Three Worlds', which screened at this year's Euro Film Week, and the challenges facing female filmmakers

Trois Mondes (Three Worlds)

Catherine Corsini, the filmmaker of Three Worlds, was among the guests at this year's Eurofilm Panorama. Three Worlds is not her first film to be screened at the panorama, as her film Partir was screened two years ago.

Three Worlds, which participated in the Un Certain Regard section at this year's Cannes Film Festival, draws a complex web of interweaving stories connected to a hit-and-drive accident.

Though this plot has been covered many times, the film manages to tell it in a comprehensive and intense manner. The build-up of events is well-constructed and the character development consistent.

Perhaps reminiscent of Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, the film revolves around a single calamity that connects two parties of different social classes.

Ahram Online had the chance to talk to Corsini about her films and the challenges facing female filmmakers.

Ahram Online (AO): I have seen your two films, Partir and Three Worlds, and have noticed that the former one tends not to sympathise with any of the characters, while the latter one sympathises with all of them. Was that intentional?

Catherine Corsini (CC): No, that was not. I think in Partir it was not easy to relate to because the main character is a woman in her fifties, thus the age difference is huge. But in Three Worlds the characters were closer to your age (thirties), so it was easier to sympathise.

Another point is that in Three Worlds the film revolves around moral questions relating to guilt and forgiveness, however in Partir the subject is about a woman who wants to leave her children for passion.

AO: In both films there is a love story between two people from different social classes. Is that a theme you are particularly interested in?

CC: Yes, of course. In France people's lives are determined from birth. People do not move around social classes easily and different social classes do not mingle. Also, in my films, whenever a character tries to defy this rift between the social classes, they are pushed back into it. One can see that in Partir when she was forced back into her house and in Three Lives, when the main character realises after the accident that despite his high position in the firm of his to be father-in-law, the social divide remains.

Another issue that I wanted to highlight in Three Worlds is illegal immigration, which is called in France is called 'sans papier'.

AO: While watching Three Worlds I was in a way reminded of A Separation. Have you seen it? What do you think?

CC: Yes, I have seen it and thank you for thinking so because it is an excellent film. I like the films of this filmmaker and how he manages to portray the intermingling of different lives of people.

AO: What do you think of the selection of the Eurofilm Panorama?

CC: There were films that I've watched before but I can't really judge because I haven't seen all the films.

AO: I have read in an old interview that you think that filmmaking is a challenging job for women. Do you still believe so?

CC: Yes, I believe it even more now. I believe cinema is dominated by men, and women are expected to make films about women's issues and women's lives. When a woman makes a film outside of this genre, like a film that includes murder, people never think the director is a woman.

I was in Turkey a few months ago and women were facing the same problem there. There are not enough female directors in France or elsewhere.

A few months ago I decided that if I could contribute to helping female filmmakers, I'll do it.


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