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THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE!
Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Fest
Best First Film Warsaw Film Fest
"A witty, naturalistic generational snapshot... The universe of The Imperialists not only seems real but highly personable" -IndieWire
"[Actors] Bouchez and De Tavira are exceptionally paired, and attuned to [filmmaker Zeina] Durra's easygoing intellectual eros shorn of dramatics" -Variety
"Insightful" -Filmmaker Magazine
Recommended! "Wry... [Zeina] Durra's comic pastiche, reminiscent of Whit Stillman's modest filmography, is a put-on of stock figures of supposed urban sophistication" -NewCity Chicago
"Refreshing... While Imperialists functions on some level as satire, it's also disarmingly sincere" -TimeOut Chicago
"Lovingly recalls the new-wave films of the 1960s" -Chicago Reader
Set amongst the fashion and art bohemia of New York City, this satiric comedy drama owes much to the early films of Jean-Luc Godard (the title taken from Godard's La Chinoise) with its fashionable portrait of revolutionary chic. French actress Élodie Bouchez (The Dreamlife of Angels, Wild Reeds), stars as Asya, a Jordanian-Lebanese-Bosnian-Palestinian-by-way-of-Paris performance artist, who lives in a spacious loft that is usually filled with her assortment of model, actor and privileged friends. The bar-hopping tendencies of these urban sophisticates, with their stretch limousines, show dogs and lavish lifestyles, contrasts with their political sensibilities as socialist provocateurs. One day she learns that her childhood friend, Faisal, has disappeared, the victim of a purported CIA abduction. That same night, she meets Javier, an attractive Mexican PhD student, and romance blossoms. Javier finds Asya's conspiracy theories overly paranoid, but nothing in Asya's world is as it seems, as her life is reflective of the themes of cultural fusion, and the complications and humor that arise simultaneously out of everyday life.
Zeina Durra's debut feature is an alluring, intelligent and funny look at the way the war on terror seeps into the texture of everyday American life. In the aftermath of 9/11, when foreigners became instantly suspect, the mood changes dramatically and the foreigners-on-a-visa must contemplate where their future truly lies. The director ponders with wry amusement the cool but troubled lives of wealthy Manhattan ex-pats who deal with the twin burdens of fame and paranoia.
Directed by Zeina Durra, U.S.A., 2010, 35mm, 90 mins. In English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Korean with English subtitles.