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‘Paris Memories’ Review: Alice Winocour’s Heartfelt Evocation of Post-Terrorism Trauma

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Guy Lodge Film CriticIt’s over six years since the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that ruptured the country’s national consciousness and political agenda, but the events are only gaining currency for European filmmakers.

This year’s Berlin festival brought us Isaki Lacesta’s “One Year, One Night,” an impressionistic reflection on survivor’s guilt in the long-term wake of the Bataclan nightclub massacre; at Cannes this year, Cedric Jimenez’s thriller “November” takes a more procedural approach to the aftermath.

Another Cannes selection, Alice Winocour’s fictionalized but plainly Bataclan-inspired “Paris Memories,” effectively splits the difference, delving into a survivor’s damaged psyche following a mass restaurant shooting in Paris, but giving her a linear, investigative course of healing, as she tracks down sympathetic strangers to help disentangle her memories of that night.

It’s a modest film with a heart very much on its torn sleeve, given force and ballast by another fine dramatic turn from the hard-working Virginie Efira.

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