Things to Come “L’avenir” (Mia Hansen-Love, 2016): France|Germany

Five time French director-writer Mia Hansen-love follows the life of a 50-something philosophy teacher, played by Isabelle Huppert, is dumped by her husband, burdened with her sick mother and problems in the schools caused by protests about retirement. This film tackles both the deeply intellectual and compassionately feelings that evolve when wanting to help those you love, and the betrayal by those who claimed to love us.

Nathalie (Huppert), married for 25 years and most happy when surrounded by her books and students, approaches life and work with a matter of realism that doesn’t stop her from asking questions about her own self and family included. Quickly after, her husband and fellow philosophy teacher Heinz (Andre Marcon), decides to leave Nathalie for another woman, a woman their kids were aware of but wanted to keep it a secret to prevent their mother from pain. After her husband left, Nathalie’s mother became more ill and incapable of living alone, harassing her daughter with late night phone calls. Nathalie was forced to find a nursing home for her but not long after, her mother passed away. It seems as though everything was falling apart all at once.

After all this tragedy, Nathalie decides to visit the country where her old philosophy student, Fabien (Roman Kolinka), this was a way for her to find herself with the other intellectual activist kids. In the road to freedom, she sees her husband on the street, openly with his now new girlfriend. Instead of being sad, she laughs and later then tells Fabien “My husband left me, my kids moved out and my mother is dead. I am finally free.” Even if to the audience it seemed like she was in despair, she truly now was at peace, peace she needed to explore and get lost in her books.

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