Cannes Classics, the film festival's sidebar that showcases a selection of vintage films and masterpieces of the history of cinema in restored prints, has announced the screening of three Latin-American related films, and that will be presented in the 70th anniversary edition celebrating the history of the French festival.
The festival will screen restored prints of Belle de Jour, the 1967 French film by the Spanish-born Mexican director Luis Buñuel, along with the 1968 classic Cuban film Lucía by Humberto Solás, and Native Son / Sang noir, the 1951 Argentinean film by French director Pierre Chenal.
In Belle de Jour, beautiful young housewife Séverine Serizy (played by Catherine Deneuve) cannot reconcile her masochistic fantasies with her everyday life alongside dutiful husband Pierre. When her lovestruck friend Henri mentions a secretive high-class brothel run by Madame Anais, Séverine begins to work there during the day under the name Belle de Jour. But when one of her clients grows possessive, she must try to go back to her normal life.
Lucía is a film narrated in three different historical episodes: During Cuba's war for independence from Spain, Lucía, a single woman from a wealthy family, betrays her brother, a Cuban revolutionary, when she inadvertently leads her lover to his secret hideout. In the 1930s, an idealistic young pregnant woman, also named Lucia, leaves her family and gets involved with an activist group. Finally, in the 1960s, a newly married woman named Lucia fights with her husband over her own freedom.
Based on the novel by Richard Wright, who also wrote the screenplay, Native Son is equal parts noir thriller and social commentary, depicting the existential and societal pressures faced by a black man trying to survive in a culture dominated by whites. Buenos Aires stood in for Chicago and American actor Canada Lee cast as the doomed protagonist, Bigger Thomas.
The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will take place May 17-28 in France.