Film Based on Leah Hager Cohen's Novel 'Grief of Others' to Make International Debut at Cannes

The Boston Globe has chosen Distinguished Writer in Residence Leah Hager Cohen"s "The Grief of Others" (Riverhead, 2011) for its May Book Club selection, and in connection will host a screening of the film adaptation. The film premiered to glowing reviews at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in March and will make its international premiere next month at the Cannes Film Festival May 14-23.

Cohen says the film is one of only nine worldwide to be invited to Cannes by France’s Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema (ACID). “It is the first time in 15 years that ACID has selected an American film for Cannes,” she shares.

According to program notes by ACID: “This film allows us to see our world, so simple and banal, in its strangeness. This reality is so close to us, in the middle of our lives, that it is surprising to distance ourselves and then see it as in a mirror, in a movie. In the interstices of our simple and ordinary relationships, there is something singular, strange and precious.”

The story follows a family struggling with a tragic loss when an unexpected visitor arrives. Cohen stirs the pain of past betrayals but might also offer an unforeseen gift: a way out of their isolating grief. The film’s cast includes Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), Wendy Moniz and Trevor St. John (“One Life to Live”); and is directed by Patrick Wang, whose first film, “In the Family,” was nominated for the 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

The Boston Globe screening will take place on May 13 at the Brattle Theatre and will feature a discussion with both Cohen and Wang. The film will also be shown May 15 at 6 p.m. at the PubX Film Festival in Northampton, Mass.

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