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Casualties of Love

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The French film Flanders has nothing to do with Homer Simpson’s ’stache-sporting, Bible-quoting neighbor. Rather, it’s an often horrific tale about a farm boy who goes off to fight an unnamed war in the Middle East. Serene scenes set in lush farmlands -- where simpleminded Demester plows fields, feeds animals, and hits the hay with neighbor girl Barbe -- bookend the movie. Easy Barbe gets pregnant by another local boy -- who ends up fighting alongside Demester in the bloody, brutal war. Despite an entire middle section that chronicles the soldiers’ plight, Flanders is, at its core, a love story. The film’s many casualties include Demester’s troop (some of whom meet particularly grisly fates) and Barbe, who suffers a breakdown. But the greatest fatality is the relationship between Demester and Barbe -- two lifelong friends who can’t quite commit.
Fri., Aug. 31, 9:20 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 1, 5:40 p.m.

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