‘Gagarine’ shows pain of losing home

‘Gagarine’ shows pain of losing home
“Gagarine” screened at the Cannes Market on a virtual platform from June 22-26. Supplied
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Updated 27 June 2020

‘Gagarine’ shows pain of losing home

‘Gagarine’ shows pain of losing home

CHENNAI: A home is not just bricks and mortar but a place where memories are made — of one’s childhood, one’s joys, and yes, sometimes one’s sorrows.

One of 56 official titles selected by the Cannes Film Festival, which was canceled this year because of the coronavirus, was “Gagarine,” screened at the Cannes Market on a virtual platform from June 22-26.

Directed by debutant Fanny Liatard and Jeremy Trouilh, “Gagarine” is a bittersweet French story of a housing complex on the outskirts of Paris. Inaugurated and named after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the complex is found to be in a state of disrepair and faces demolition.




“Gagarine” is a bittersweet French story of a housing complex on the outskirts of Paris. Supplied

But 16-year-old black teen Yuri (played charismatically by newcomer Alseni Bathily) refuses to leave. He has nowhere to go after his mother abandoned him. Yuri (probably named after the cosmonaut) is a good handyman, and with two friends, Houssam (Jamil McCraven) and Diana (Lyna Khoudri), tries to carry out repairs with secondhand materials before the inspection. He fails, but is inspired to recreate a spaceship in the building’s basement. Passionate about astronomy, he also has a telescope and great imagination to rebuild his place as a sci-fi model.

“Gagarine” is an apt commentary – a fictionalized account of a real incident – on how marginalized communities live on hope, struggling to survive against tremendous odds.




“Gagarine” is an apt commentary – a fictionalized account of a real incident – on how marginalized communities live on hope. Supplied

In many ways Yuri seems to embody the spirit of the community and the complex, and we see the beginnings of the boy’s passion for space when the directors include archival footage of Yuri Gagarin visiting the complex to the cheering of crowds, many of whom have been lifted from a miserable existence to live in the sky-high building.

There are lovely movements in the movie, in which the real and unreal merge, lending themselves into a “cockpit” romance between Yuri and Diana, where she finally notices life-saving Morse Code messages from him that she herself had once taught him.

Together with a superb score by composers Evgueni and Sacha Galperine, and Amine Bouhafa, “Gagarine” presents a hauntingly memorable picture of how the loss of a home sometimes be so traumatic. Had the festival not been sidelined by the coronavirus, “Gagarine” would have certainly created a lot of buzz.


James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic

James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic
Updated 22 January 2021

James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic

James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic

LOS ANGELES: The global release of the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” was postponed to October from April, its producers said on Thursday, another setback for movie theaters trying to rebuild a business crushed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The movie’s new debut date is Oct. 8, according to an announcement on the James Bond website and Twitter feed.

“No Time to Die,” from MGM and Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, had originally been set to hit the big screen in April 2020 before moving to November 2020 and then April 2021.

The film, which cost an estimated $200 million to produce, marks actor Daniel Craig’s last outing as agent 007.

Cinema owners were hoping “No Time to Die” would kick off a rebound in moviegoing.

The pandemic devastated the film business in 2020, and ticket sales in the United States and Canada sunk 80%. That hurt independent theaters and big chains including AMC Entertainment, Cineworld Plc and Cinemark Holdings Inc.

With the virus still rampant in many areas, including in the key Los Angeles market, Hollywood studios appear reluctant to send their biggest films to theaters. Many cinemas are closed, and ones that are open enforce strict attendance limits to allow for social distancing.

The Bond franchise is one of the movie world's most lucrative, with 2015’s “Spectre” raking in $880 million at the box office worldwide, while “Skyfall” in 2012 grossed more than $1 billion globally.

The next closely watched movie is “Black Widow” from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios, currently scheduled to debut in theaters on May 7.