A state-of-the-nation movie comprising of a series of seemingly unrelated stories set in a region of the South of France and often treated in documentary-style fashion. Everyone in "Sophia Antipolis" has their problems whether it's the young girls who want breast implants in the film's opening sequence or the vigilante-like gangs who think they are 'cleaning up' the area and it's a genuinely disturbing picture. It's a little like what Paul Haggis' "Crash" might have been had it been less interested in star power but unlike "Crash" the stories here are totally disparate, verging at times on the surreal. The title refers, not to a person, but to a place; a large technology park on the French Riviera and it's what links the films many characters. Sophia is also the name of a young girl whose burnt body has been found in the park and the film is deeply critical of French society today. This Riviera is not a paradise in the sun but a place where immigrants find themselves being drawn into violence in the name of the law or into sects convinced the world is coming to an end. It is, in other words, a very nihilistic picture. It's only the second feature of its director, Virgil Vernier and it should ensure him a very bright future indeed.
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Sophia Antipolis: a technopole on the French Riviera, a place where dreams should come true. But fear and despair lurk beneath the surface. Under a deceitful sun, five lives map out the haunting story of a young woman: Sophia.
November 3, 2021