[Tiff Review] Parisienne

Many deflect from it, but a writer/director’s intent can change the viewer’s outlook on his/her film. Danielle Arbid‘s fictional coming-of-age drama about a college-aged immigrant from Lebanon to France (Manal Issa‘s Lina) is one containing many new acquaintances able to help her find the freedom she covets but never found back home. It can prove convenient because of this since she never truly hits rock bottom like many in her situation do. Instead there’s always a guardian angel watching out for her—sometimes manipulated and sometimes a compassionate soul. While trying to reconcile her luck with the unfortunate and horrific acts befalling her can be overwhelming, hearing Arbid state her goal as providing a “‘Thank you’ to the people who shaped [her own] life” goes a long way towards accepting its almost stifling optimism.

Parisienne isn’t therefore a strict autobiography as much as a
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