Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

Sables mouvants

France, 1995, 105 min

Shown in 1996


Paul Carpita
Patrick Deshayes
Paul Carpita
Peter Chappell
Julianne Sánchez
Beppe Clericci, Daniel San Pedro, Ludivine Vaillet, Guy Beleïdi


Les Films de la Liane
North American Premiere


Paul Carpita was recognized in 1996 as one of the Unvanquished.

Presented with the generous support of the French Embassy in the United States, Paul Carpita showed his first film, Rendezvous on the Docks, at the Festival in 1991. For political reasons, the film had been banned in 1955 and never seen again until it was discovered 35 years later on the shelves of the Archives du Film in Paris. It was greeted as “the missing link of French cinema”—between the Toni of Jean Renoir and the Breathless of Godard. Banned for telling this story of the 1950 Marseilles docker’s strike organized by the Communist labor unions to protest France’s involvement in Vietnam, Carpita did not work again. Now at 73, Carpita is back with his second feature, Quicksand, set in 1962 in the wild, romantic landscape of Camargue, a few miles from Arles. Manuel, a young Spaniard forced to leave his country because of the repressive Franco regime, is now one of those many illegal workers in France who is trying to find work and escape poverty and politics. He finds work with a local architect set on making a fortune on the “quicksand” of some murky real estate speculation. Roger, who provides the illegal labor for this under-the-table, get-rich-quick scheme, offers Manuel‘s services. In telling the story of this worker passed along the grim links in the chain of exploitation, Carpita shows us he is back, his political fervor unquenched, his skill as a filmmaker intact.

—Marie-Pierre Macia

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