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The Spy Who Spoke French

A Parisian playboy, a Foreign Legion veteran, and a French gangster on the run in Florida were just a few of the identities used by Franco-American Marc Ruskin, who worked as an undercover agent for the FBI in the United States for 25 years. Jean-Marc is wearing a long woolen coat and a cap similar to the one sported by...

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By the Grace of God in U.S. Theaters

François Ozon's latest film, an investigation of the pedophilia scandal in the French Catholic Church, will be released in U.S. theaters on Friday. When Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud), a family man and practicing Catholic, learns that the priest who abused him as a boy is still working with children, he decides to report him to the religious authorities of the diocese...

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On the Trail of French-Speaking Migrants in North America

We know everything about Jacques Cartier, the French sailor who discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada in 1534. But we know far less about the other Francophones who settled in North America from the 17th century onwards. This is the ambitious objective of a transatlantic research project set to finish in 2026. Des Moines in Iowa, Traverse City...

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Fashion & Faith: James Tissot in San Francisco

A new exhibition at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor invites audiences to reassess the multifaceted oeuvre of James Tissot — or discover it for the first time. The 19th-century artist James Tissot’s name is emblematic of his English Channel-spanning life and career. With a foot in two cultures, a style that refuses categorization, and a dramatic late-career shift in subject...

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On the Road (to the Elysée): Jacques Chirac in America

Before becoming president of France, Jacques Chirac was a vagabond in America during the 1950s. At least, that was the story he liked to tell. Jacques Chirac, who passed away on September 26, was a friend to America and would tell anyone willing to listen. One such person was President Bill Clinton, whom he met in Washington in 1995 less...

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When the Free French Forces Trained in the U.S.

During World War II, more than 4,000 French pilots, navigators, radio operators, machine-gunners, bombardiers, and mechanics were trained in the United States. A little-known chapter in the history of the French Air Force. Boston, June 23, 1943. The French soldiers disembarking from the U.S.S. West Point were ashen-faced, having spent two weeks aboard a luxury ocean liner that had been...

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Lubin, the French Perfumer That Won the West

From Marie Antoinette to the Gold Rush and Grace Kelly, the French perfume house Lubin has gone down in history and left its mark on generations of wearers. Produced by Sonia Medina and directed by Myriam Touzé, the documentary Lubin, un parfumeur d’excellence retraces the story of the genius behind the perfumes and explores the rebirth of the brand from...

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Family Business, French Comedy on a High

Available on Netflix in the United States, the French series Family Business revisits Jewish humor and stoner comedy, an American genre that features gags with characters under the influence of marijuana. A six-episode comedy series directed by Igor Gotesman and produced by Netflix, Family Business follows the ups and downs of a Parisian Jewish family, the Hazans. Their members include...

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Isadora Duncan, Reborn in a Graphic Novel

Ninety years after her death, long-forgotten American dancer Isadora Duncan is now back in the spotlight. Franco-American actress Lily-Rose Depp played her in the movie The Dancer three years ago, and she is now the lead character in a graphic novel published in France by Dargaud in 2017 and translated into English this week by SelfMadeHero. Isadora retraces the fanciful...

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How Charles de Gaulle Rescued France

As Julian Jackson insists in the preface of his biography, published by Harvard University Press in 2018 and translated in French by Seuil, De Gaulle is “everywhere” in modern France, its undisputed hero. This claim, like some other confident statements in the book, may strike a reader as both narrowly true and what a French thinker might call metaphysically false. His...

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Henri Dauman, a Creator of Icons

Without knowing him, we all recognize his photos of Elvis Presley and John Kennedy. After emigrating to the United States at the age of 17, French photographer Henri Dauman helped develop American photojournalism. His work can be viewed at the Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta until December 30, 2019. Finding himself orphaned after World War II, Henri Dauman, born in...

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French Is Back in Maine, and So Is the Alliance Française

The inauguration of the Maine branch of the Alliance Française in Portland on August 29 is a testament to the resurgence of French in a state welcoming increasing numbers of immigrants from Francophone African countries. One quarter of the residents of Maine are of French-Canadian heritage, and yet the French language very nearly disappeared from this state. Quebecer immigrants who...

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The French Soccer Federation Opens a School in New York

The French Football Federation inaugurated the French Football Academy in New York this summer, the first school of its kind outside France. Its goal is to take advantage of young people’s enthusiasm for soccer while exporting the French coaches’ know-how and training methods to the United States. Did you know that soccer is the second most popular sport among young...

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Jean-Baptiste Del Amo: Up Close and Personal With Nature

French author Jean-Baptiste Del Amo won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for Une éducation libertine in 2008, and in 2016 published Règne animal, a denunciation of the violent treatment of animals. Driven by lyrical, organic writing, it will be released in English in the United States on September 10 as Animalia. Rarely does a book stimulate all the senses...

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Isabelle Adjani In Search of America

After a few forgettable roles in Hollywood in the 1980s and 1990s, Isabelle Adjani is back in the United States. The French actress shines in Opening Night, an adaptation of John Cassavetes’s movie which premiered in Paris last May, at the FIAF in New York from September 12-14. Isabelle Adjani’s whole life is reflected in Agnès, the role she played in...

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From Marie-Antoinette to Jean Paul Gaultier: Paris, Capital of Fashion

Paris is the birthplace of fashion, so if you want to get a first-hand view of the latest trends, Paris Fashion Week, starting on September 23, is the place to be. You will see the best creations from the world's best designers. For those who are not so lucky, a catch-up session in fashion history will be held at New...

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The Wolf’s Call, a Deep Sea Thriller on Netflix

Former diplomat turned filmmaker Antonin Baudry has directed his first feature-length movie, taking audiences aboard a nuclear submarine. Following its success in France, the film has been released on Netflix in the United States this summer. “There are three types of people: Those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.” This quote from Aristotle...

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Liberating the City of Light: Dispatch from an American Journalist

The first American soldiers entered the recently liberated city of Paris 75 years ago on August 25, 1944. They were accompanied by the renowned war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Ernest Taylor Pyle was 44 when he set foot in liberated Paris, almost twice the age of the soldiers he was with. Originally from Dana, Indiana, he was bald and weighed less...

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Conneaut Hosts D-Day in Ohio

Every August, a little town in Ohio hosts the world’s biggest reenactment of the Normandy Landings. More than 2,000 armed and uniformed volunteers will be taking part in this year’s edition from August 15 through 17. On the shores of Lake Erie, the sandy beach by the little town of Conneaut is somewhat similar to Omaha Beach. Wooden obstacles painted...

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Riding Zone, the Extreme Sports Show

From paragliding and surfing to skateboarding, skiing, and rock climbing, nothing is too extreme for Riding Zone. Broadcast every week on TV5MONDE (and France Ô), this 26-minute show is the French gold standard for big thrills and board sports. Interview with Tiga, the host of the show. France-Amérique: Over the last 12 years, Riding Zone has forged a reputation as the leading...

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Jean-Paul Dubois, the Worried Observer of America

With a dozen novels, short stories, and essays to his name, Jean-Paul Dubois has created a profoundly human body of work inspired by his experience in America, where he worked as a correspondent for Le Nouvel Observateur for 15 years. His new novel, Tous les hommes n’habitent pas le monde de la même façon, will be published in France on...