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The Independent Critic

Jean-Christophe di Mambro, Francoise Faucher, Katherine Cleland
Charles Alexandre Tisseyre

 "Cloverleaf" a Short Film That Transcends Words 
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There are journeys in life that transcend words.

Cloverleaf is about just such a journey, a journey that so infinitely transcends the tangible experience that to have given it language would have been to have risked tainting it.

Wisely, writer/director Charles Alexandre Tisseyre trusted that the story could be told most effectively through the sounds of magnificent music by Maxime Lacoste-Lebuis, Simon Mercier-Nguyen and Etienne St-Louis along with the mood-setting and emotionally resonant camera work of Kiril Shmidov. Shmidov masterfully captures the story that unfolds in the eyes and through the glances of our two lead performers, Jean-Christophe di Mambro and Francoise Faucher.

Jean-Christophe di Mambro plays a young man who retreats to beachfront rental in a misty coastal town. Unexpectedly, he embarks on a journey into the past of a life that he will not soon forget.

While there's the potential for Cloverleaf to cross the line into something either pretentious or self-important, Tisseyre does a tremendous job of creating a beautifully told story that feels both deeply personal and universal. Cloverleaf approaches universal themes touching all of humanity, yet it does so in a way that feels intimate and identifiable. There's a good reason for the film's success ... actually, there are two good reasons as both of the film's leading performers exude a vulnerability and surrender that leaves you mesmerized by their unfolding and unspoken stories.

Francoise Faucher, simply by breathing into her character, portrays a woman whose life experiences and memories could likely fill volume after volume of an encyclopedia. There's a matter-of-factness about her performance, a resignation towards her past and an openness towards whatever the future may be that is simply beautiful to behold. When she and di Mambro share the screen, it feels as if we're watching the stories of the generations be told without a single word being shared.

Cloverleaf is the kind of short film that indie film festivals love, both experimental in construction and stimulating in intellectual and emotional ways. It is a film that stays within your heart and mind long after you've watched it, a film that, perhaps like its story, becomes both a memory to be embraced and a guide as you move forward.

For more information on the film, be sure to visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits on the left of this review.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic