Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival

The Truth

1 screenings

26 JUL 2020 — Film



New Zealand International Film Festival


107 minutes


PG Coarse language and sexual references

La Vérité
France/Japan 2019
In French and English, with English subtitles

After conquering Cannes with Shoplifters, Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu breathlessly transposes his beloved cinema of families, food and slow-burning truths to Paris, with an all-star cast led by two doyennes of the French silver screen.  

Japan’s modern master of the family drama slides gracefully into the annals of French film history with The Truth, his fourteenth narrative feature and the first made outside of his homeland, boasting no less than the inaugural pairing of icons Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche.

Playing an equally luminous, if far more imperious version of herself, Deneuve is superb as the prickly Fabienne, a legendary actress about to publish her memoirs. Arriving in Paris for the book launch is screenwriter daughter Lumir (Binoche), her second-rate TV actor husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) and their little girl Charlotte (Clémentine Grenier, proving yet again Kore-eda’s eye for child actors is impeccable). All appear not as close to Fabienne as her writings suggest.

Meanwhile, Kore-eda’s interests in memory and familial resentment shimmer in the reflective surfaces of the sci-fi movie Fabienne is shooting, about a mother-daughter relationship age-inverted by the time dilation effects of space. It’s a pleasure to witness this dynamic further mirrored in the exchanges between Deneuve and Binoche, among the finest performers of their respective generations, here revelling in the subtle and not-so-subtle friction of their mingling screen personas.

“Nothing in The Truth is more uncomfortably honest than the notion that families are cast much like films are cast; once people settle into their roles, it can become impossible to imagine them being played differently, or by anyone else. The beauty of Kore-eda’s movie… is in the rhetorical way it wonders if it’s possible for people to separate themselves from those performances…

This is a story that recognizes how family is a living thing, and how dangerous it can be to place all your trust in any memory that refuses to make room for a new one. Eventually, Lumir asks Fabienne ‘Do you love yourself, or do you love film?’ Fabienne replies: ‘I love the films I’m in.’ In a movie full of lies, it’s a moment that feels as true as anything Kore-eda has ever made.” — David Ehrlich, Indiewire


Kore-eda Hirokazu


Muriel Merlin


Kore-eda Hirokazu, Ken Liu


Eric Gautier


Riton Dupire-Clément

Production Designer

Pascaline Chavanne

Costume Designer

Alexeï Aïgui



Catherine Deneuve


Juliette Binoche


Ethan Hawke


Clémentine Grenier


Manon Clavel


Alain Libolt


Christian Crahay


Roger Van Hool



Venice, Toronto 2019

Dates &

Sun 26 Jul 1:45 PM

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Adult $18.50

Student $15.50

Senior $12.50

Multi-Trip Pass $77.50

A joyous ride of a film: an occasion to enjoy Deneuve at her best and to see how Kore-eda explores the secrets and lies we tell ourselves and those closest to us.
— Elisabet Cabeza, Sight & Sound

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