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After drawing international attention and critical acclaim with his sweeping silent comedy The Artist, French writer-director Michel Hazanavicius aims to take on new terrain by re-imagining the 1948 war-drama The Search. Directed by four-time Oscar winner Fred Zinneman (High Noon, From Here to Eternity), the original Search centered on a boy, who having escaped the horrors of Auschwitz, seeks to find his mother in the aftermath of World War II Berlin. According to Variety, Hazanavicius will transplant the harrowing premise to a more modern locale: present day, war-ravaged Chechnya.
This deeply dark subject matter is surprising considering that The Artist is a largely whimsical romance and comedy, not to mention Hazanavicius' prior film efforts were spy spoofs and crime capers. Still, Hazanavicius has shown a deep admiration of classic Hollywood cinema in his works thus far, so it seems somehow fitting that he'd find his latest inspiration among one of its lesser known titles. While Hazanavicius has assured that The Search will not share The Artist's black and white, silent aesthetic, his Search will re-team him with The Artist producer Thomas Langmann and its leading lady and Hazanavicius's wife, Berenice Bejo. She will star as an aid worker who presumably helps the boy in his quest to find his mother as Hazanavicius has said:
"In my film, the focus will be on the special relationship between a woman and a young boy as well."
No production schedule has yet been announced for The Search, but it's likely Hazanavicius' multi-director effort Les Infidels will hit theaters first. Similar in premise to the shorts collection Paris, je t'aime, this film will feature short films—in this case on the subject of infidelity--from a number of French luminaries that include Hazanavicius and The Artist's leading man Jean Dujardin.