Karnaval - a film by Vincent Thomas - is set in Dunkirk, northern France, in February of 1998. It's carnival season - a month and a half of festivities, parades and songs that turn the city upside down. After a violent argument with his father, Larbi (Amar Ben Abdullah) decides to flee the family gas station to start a new life in the southern city of Marseille.
Forced to spend one last night in Dunkirk, he shelters in a doorway where Bea (Sylvie Testud) and Christian (Martine Godart), a tipsy carnival couple returning from a ball, disturb him. Larbi is charmed by Bea and decides to stick around for a few days to try his luck at convincing her to come with him.
With a story placed in the heart of a popular festival, a tradition inherited from the festivals that fishermen held before their departures, Vincent's film is characterized by its authenticity. He depicts, with poetry and tenderness, a carnival often shown with condescension and scorn.
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