Film “Il y a longtemps que je t’aime” – Daniel Gonzalez writes:

On Thursday 15th May we had a new YTI Social event that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I would love to share my experience with you all.

The event took place in Harrogate, in the 6th Form Forum at the Harrogate Grammar School.

Getting there couldn’t have been easier for me, as I live in Leeds and bus number 36 is just outside my door. Once in Harrogate, the Grammar School is just a short walk away from the bus stop (and it was a lovely walk indeed!).

Once at the venue I was welcomed with some wine and cheese (what else could you ask for!). We were just a handful of people from YTI but it was an open event and there were also people who were not translators and did not belong to YTI, so it was interesting to network with everyone and share nice conversations about cheese, wine and French…

The cheese and wine were in fact not the main event of the evening, but just a complement to a beautiful French film, Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (I’ve loved you so long). I assumed the film would be shown on the same room we were sampling the cheeses and wine in, as there was a decent-sized screen on one of the walls. However I was surprised when we were taken to a full-size cinema, just along the corridor. Harrogate Grammar School obviously has excellent facilities!

Our host for the evening gave us a short introduction about the film, all in French. Although I can’t speak any French, he made sure he spoke slowly and my Spanish and Italian helped me to get the general gist. I thought this French discussion gave the evening an even more authentic tone, and it is definitely a fantastic way of practising the language for those interested in it (apparently they regularly show French films at this venue!).

I thought the film was excellent. It was shot beautifully and the characters were very well portrayed by a fantastic cast. The film doesn’t tell the happiest of stories, but it was one of those films that stay in your mind for a long time.

I don’t want to be a spoiler, so I won’t tell you much about the plot, but it starts with a woman called Juliette being released from prison and reuniting with her sister, and tells us how both of them try to restore the bond they had as children, while Juliette tries to find her place in a judgemental society. The film did a good job in exploring the psychology of the main characters, in a very realistic and intense way.

After the film finished we had another quick talk by the host (in French again), and he analysed some of the aspects seen in the film, before putting an end to the evening.

This was my first YTI event in Harrogate (I had mainly attended events in Leeds and York so far), and it was definitely worth the trip. It was a perfect combination of languages and arts, with the added bonus of cheese and wine (plus the wine was just enough, so there were no issues with getting up early the next day!). I am already looking forward to the next events!