My Friend Victoria | Chicago Reader

My Friend Victoria

95 minutes 2014

This French-language drama, based on a Doris Lessing short story, is a languid reflection on race, class, and identity in contemporary Paris, in which the passive protagonist (Guslagie Malanga) is a working-class black woman haunted by a night she spent in the home of a wealthy white family when she was a child. Her writer friend (Nadia Moussa) is the film's narrator, and writer-director Jean-Paul Civeyrac relies too heavily on her voice-over to tell rather than show, particularly when she describes events she didn’t witness and conjectures feelings that would have been best left to the actors to convey. Malanga is exquisite, her face a map of her character’s interior life; the story simmers when it's unsaid. In French with subtitles. 95 min. —Leah Pickett

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