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Saint Omer

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France · 2022
2h 3m
Director Alice Diop
Starring Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanda, Aurélia Petit, Valérie Dréville
Genre Drama

Young novelist Rama attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a Senegalese immigrant accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter by abandoning her on a beach in northern France. But as the trial continues, the words of the accused will shake Rama's convictions and raise complex issues in this haunting portrait of the immigrant experience.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Time Out by

The powerhouse denouement is a staggering insight into how colonial legacies continues to affect lives today.


CineVue by John Bleasdale

Saint Omer is a deeply intellectual film – Medea is referenced several times as a frame of understanding – but it’s also heartfelt. There is a compassion to the dispassion: an empathy.


The Hollywood Reporter by Lovia Gyarkye

Saint Omer might be fiction, but Diop does not stray too far from her documentary roots. The film maintains a sense of naturalism even during its most tense moments. Diop’s directing style leans observational, as if she is watching and recording her screenplay’s effect on her performers.


The Playlist by Robert Daniels

Diop’s Saint Omer doesn’t condescend to the viewer by slinking toward black-and-white offerings of good and evil, or broad statements about race or gender. This ripped-from-the-headlines narrative accomplishes a feat far more creative, and a bit less forced. It dances on the surface of these participants, and in their subtle ripples, to reveal the humanity in the seemingly inhumane.


TheWrap by Ronda Racha Penrice

In her narrative debut, Diop has found a way to mix her hard-hitting documentary style with fiction to raise a mirror to society. This new arena, with its wider reach, makes Diop an exciting filmmaker to watch.


IndieWire by Sophie Monks Kaufman

With her first fiction feature, Diop lets real material speak with an ancient sadness, with hope offered in the form of Rama who keeps moving, carrying a burden of knowledge into the birth of a brave new life.

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