A Chadian man sends his son to war; a failing magician forms an unlikely friendship in Scotland; a disabled woman travels to the Pyrenees. These diverse characters and more will come to Bowdoin next week as part of the Tournées Festival.

Beginning next Tuesday, the French department-led series will feature six contemporary Francophone films accompanied by post-screening lectures.

The festival recieves its funding from the cultural services division of the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. Now in its 16th year, the Tournées Festival has taken place at more than 350 different colleges and universities. Grant money is prvoded for public screening rights each year to schools interested in promoting contemporary Francophone cinema.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Romance Languages Isabelle Choquet is responsible for bringing the festival to Bowdoin for the first time this year. She initially explored the program as a graduate student at the University of Virginia and decided to introduce the festival to Bowdoin after arriving here in September. This is her fifth year participating in the program.

The first film to be shown, "Un homme qui crie" ("A Screaming Man"), was the 2010 recipient of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The drama follows the life of a former swimming champion who—now at the age of 55—sends his son into the military amidst civil war in present-day Chad.

The screening of "Un homme qui crie" will feature a discussion with Associate Professor of History David Gordon following the film.

"Lourdes" will be screened on Wednesday, February 8, and "C'est dur d'être aimé par des cons" ("It's Hard Being Loved by Jerks") on Thursday, February 9.

"Lourdes" was selected in collaboration with Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Religion David Howlett, who will also moderate the adjoining discussion. "Lourdes," set in the southwestern French town of the same name, follows a wheelchair-bound woman named Christine who travels to a religious pilgrimage site in southwestern France in search of a miracle.

According to Howlett, "Lourdes" can be thought of as "a very sympathetic inquiry into the healthiness of faith and skepticism." The film received the 2009 Vienna International Film Festival's Vienna Film Prize for best film.

"C'est dur d' être aimé par des cons" follows the 2007 Paris trial in which several Islamic organizations brought charges of racist libel against Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly), a satirical French newspaper. Associate Professor of Romance Languages Katherine Dauge-Roth and Associate Professor of Romance Languages Charlotte Daniels helped select the film and will moderate the discussion.

"It raises very interesting questions surrounding the freedom of speech versus respect of all opinions on religion," said Choquet.

The festival will continue Friday with "Deux de la Vague" ( "Two in the Wave") and "White Material."

The first film documents the friendship of the creators of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, and will be presented by Associate Professor of Film Studies Tricia Welsch.

Amy Taubin of Artforum called the "White Material" " the best film of the year" when it was released in 2009. Set to be moderated by Chad Attenborough '12, "White Material" follows a coffee plantation owner determined to persist in her business as a civil war wracks her home country.

The festival concludes next Saturday with an animated film selected by the Bowdoin Film Society, "L'Illusionniste" ("The Illusionist"). Based off an unproduced screenplay written by the French mime Jacques Tati in 1956, the film follows the progression of a friendship between a failing magician and a girl who believes in him more than he believes in himself. Neither of the two speaks the other's language, but the films shows the beautiful way people communicate nonverbally. Pierre Dairon, who received his Ph.D. in Francophone Literature at the University of Virginia, will moderate the discussion.

Each film will begin at 7 p.m., excepting "Deux de la Vague," which begins at 4 p.m. A closing reception will precede "L'Illusioniste" on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium in the Visual Arts Center.

Admission is free, and each screening will be presented in Kresge Auditorium with English subtitles.

Editors' note: An earlier version of this article misquoted Chad Attenborough '12; the quote has been removed. The Orient regrets the error.