Goa a backdrop of French Director’s new film ‘Maya’
Toronto, Sep 16 (UNI) Acclaimed French director Mia Hansen-Love’s new film has an unlikely title.
The film, premiered at the 43rd Toronto Imternational Film Festival (TIFF), is titled ‘Maya’. Shot in Goa, the film is about a French war correspondent’s search for peace after he is released from captivity in Syria.
While the film’s central character is called Gabriel, the war correspondent who comes to live in his godfather’s home in Goa, Hansen-Love chose to name her movie otherwise. Maya is the college-going daughter of Gabriel’s godfather, who helps him come to terms with his freedom after being taken hostage while covering the civil war in Syria.
”Though Gabriel is an essential character, it is through Maya that he rediscovers himself and his life,” says Hansen-Love, known for her films such as ‘All is Forgiven’ (2007) and ‘Father of My Children’ (2009), which won a special jury prize at the Cannes film festival.
Hansen-Love, a former critic with the famous French film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, says her film is about the search for truth. “The truth lies inside us,” she adds.
The director, who spent ”a lot of time” in Goa, visited India several times leading up to the film’s pre-production. ”I was creating an image of Goa and India that correspond to my experience,” she says.
Hansen-Love’s mother’s father was a war correspondent, who became an inspiration for her work. ”I also met two war correspondents, one was a Franco-American who was held hostage in Syria,” she says.
The director showed her script to the two war correspondents before starting the project. ”Their contribution to the script was precious and essential,” she adds.
French actor Roman Kolinka, who plays Gabriel, says he read many books on reporters recommended by Hansen-Love. ”I also watched videos of war correspondents returning home and also saw news about the civil war in Syria,” says Kolinka, who has collaborated with Hansen-Love in two of the director’s earlier films.
Mumbai-based Aarshi Banerjee, who plays Maya, says the whole film crew was like a family. ”Thank you for this experience,” Banerjee said after the world premiere of the film at the Toronto festival.