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Laure Calamy (ensemble member of the French comedy series Call My Agent!) stars as Antoinette, a bright, attractive, and imaginative schoolteacher who is carrying on an affair with the married father of one of her young students. When her lover cancels their school vacation getaway plans to be with his family, Antoinette, without invitation, follows the small clan to a hiking trail in Southern France’s Cévennes National Park. Antoinette learns she has signed up for the same walking trip recounted by Robert Louis Stevenson in his 1879 journal Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes and that she will be accompanied by an independently minded burro named Patrick. As our heroine and her animal companion try to catch up with her lover, Antoinette embarks on a commune with nature that begins uneasily but leads her to some unexpected and self-revelatory places. Writer/Director Caroline Vignal’s second feature is a comic character study that presents the impulsive and endearing Antoinette without any moral judgement or dramatic confrontations. The English title is a nod towards Howard Hawks’ beloved Western Rio Bravo (and its specialty number “My Rifle, My Pony and Me”) and Vignal captures some of that film’s relaxed, breezy storytelling style, but it is the performance from leading lady Calamy that imbues My Donkey, My Lover & I with a consistently engaging and surprising life force. (JH)

This Young French Cinema program was made possible with the support of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    96 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Caroline Vignal
  • Screenwriter
    Caroline Vignal
  • Producer
    Laetitia Galitzine, Aurelie Trouve-Rouviere
  • Cast
    Laure Calamy, Benjamin Lavernhe,Olivia Cote, Marc Fraize
  • Cinematographer
    Simon Beaufils
  • Editor
    Annette Dutertre
  • Music
    Matei Bratescot