Film Club brings soul of Paris to Athlone

Love, soul, and music, those are three words that come to mind when one thinks of the legendary French singer, Edith Piaf. A cultural icon, she is universally thought of as France’s best singer. Famously referred to by Marlene Dietrich as the ‘soul of Paris,’ her funeral was the only time since World War Two that Parisian traffic completely came to a stop.

Athlone Film Club brings audiences the acclaimed film La Vie en Rose which depicts the passionate but tragic life of Piaf ‘the little sparrow.’

Director Oliver Dahan brings Piaf’s story to life, from her meagre beginnings to her arrival as one of the most celebrated singers of all time.

A life less ordinary and shrouded in mystery Piaf was born in 1915 and from the age of three was blind. She is said to have been cured at the age of seven by devotion to St Therese of Liseux. At 14 she joined her father as an acrobatic street performer all over France. At the age of 17 she lost her only child to meningitis. Her rise as a singer saw her perform for German social gatherings for troops during World War Two. This gave rise to allegations that she was a traitor but she claimed after the war that she was working for the French Resistance.

La Vie en Rose gives a fascinating insight into her unusual life. Amongst other events Piaf endured the love of her life dying in a plane crash. She herself was involved in three near fatal car crashes. Although tragedy dominated her life and this can be seen in the film through the skilful use of flashbacks by the director, the pervading power of the music pulsates throughout. Songs like Je Ne Regrette Rien and Hymme a l’amour draw the audience into the soul of Piaf.

Piaf is brilliantly played in an Oscar winning performance by Marion Cottilard who flawlessly depicts her life from childhood to her untimely death in 1963.

So prepare to be moved by a fascinating story and touched by soulful music.

La Vie en Rose shows in the Dean Crowe theatre, Monday December 1 at 8pm sharp. Pre-screening wine reception at 7.30pm.

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