(Dis)advantages of knowing the future; thoughts on “L’aventure des Marguerite” (France, 2020)

Poster for The Fantastic Journey of Margot & Marguerite

How do you think it would have felt knowing in 1942 that the war would be over on May 8, 1945? Relieved that it would be over at one point? Tired that it would last three more long years? Curious, depending on which side you are on, who won the war? Or to put it another way, how would you feel if you would know something about world politics three years from, in 2024? Either way, I think knowing anything in the future with certainty would be a burden and an opportunity. To change or not to change the course of history for the better; or your personal life; or with who and how to share what you know: These questions could weigh you down and at the same time have the potential to free you up.

These are the questions that might arise in you while watching the French movie “L’aventure des Marguerite”. It is a wonderful little movie in the best French traditions. On one hand, it has light humor throughout, despite being half of it set during World War II. We laughed out loud lots of times at the situational humor, mostly caused by characters misplaced (in time). This light touch also applied to the cinematography: lush images, fabulous wardrobes, scenery that those who appreciate classical European or to be more specific French architecture and countryside enjoy. 

Besides having fun and enjoying the story, if you want to distill messages from it you can do that too. E.g. It wants to teach that

  • modern youth can get interested in and understand history no matter how stereotypically closed-minded and uninterested in world events they seem to be.
  • family value is loving and caring for each other no matter whether you are related by blood or not
  • women (and men) can learn to be strong and independent no matter what their cultural upbringing dictates to them.

The film was directed by Pierre Coré. The English title of the movie is “The Fantastic Journey of Margot & Marguerite” and I watched it as part of the French-speaking film festival, “Frankofón Filmnapok” in Hungary, so I saw it under the Hungarian title “Marguerite és Margot”. (The online/virtual festival is on till May 2, so you can still join and watch it too.) It is based on Vincent Cuvellier’s book titled “Le temps des Marguerite”, illustrated by Benoît Robin.

Official synopsis

Marguerite and Margot are  both 12, with each their own family, friends, problems… and era! One lives in 1942 and the other in 2020. But this is without counting on a mysterious magic chest that transports them to each other’s era. Margot and Marguerite have something else in common: their father is no longer there, one vanished during World War II, the other is not living at home. With 70 years apart, they’re embarking on a wild adventure to find their present, explore History and their familie’s memories.

Trailer

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