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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Queen to Play

"Wonderful and bountiful" fim explores passion for chess

Queen to Play is a wonderful and bountiful French film directed by Caroline Bottaro. It's about a woman's passion for chess and the way it rearranges her life and the lives of those around her.

Zeitgeist FilmsGerman philosopher G.W.F. Hegel reminds us: "Nothing great has been accomplished without passion." But only a lucky few are able to discern this powerful quality, dedicate themselves completely to it, and use it to create a life of meaning.

Hélène is married and has a daughter who is embarrassed because her mother works as a hotel chambermaid. One day she enters a room to clean and is enchanted by the grace, intensity and mystery of a man and woman on the terrace playing chess.

She vows to learn the game and picks up some guidance and pointers from Dr. Kroger, an avid and accomplished chess player whose house she also cleans. It's a pleasure to watch Hélène take risks to keep her passion alive as she shatters class and gender barriers and becomes her true self (Zeitgeist Films, not rated).


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