Moving on from unimaginable terror is the subject of French drama Paris Memories, a fictional mystery grounded in real events. Virginie Efira plays Mia, a woman who takes shelter from the rain in a Paris restaurant. By tragic coincidence, it becomes one of the targets of the 2015 Paris shootings.
The event leaves Mia traumatised but unable to remember what happened. Piecing together fragments of that night, she tries to ascertain what happened in order to move on.
As with her previous film, 2020’s Proxima, director Alice Winocour brings a human focus to a much larger story. Her brother was a survivor of the attacks, being present at the concert hall where the majority of murders happened. Winocour doesn’t focus on that night, only showing Mia’s limited viewpoint. Instead, it’s a fascinating drama about the questions asked in the aftermath of events too horrifying to ever fully comprehend.
Mia wonders why she survived, struggles with an accusation that she locked others out of a bathroom to save herself, and strikes up a romance with one of the fellow diners from the night (Benoît Magimel).
In Paris Memories Winocour and her star offer a thoughtful meditation on tragedy, saying volumes through very modest means.