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French filmmaker François Ozon looks at secrets and lies in war's aftermath with 'Frantz'

French filmmaker François Ozon looks at secrets and lies in war's aftermath with 'Frantz'

For a director regularly drawn to slipperiness and surprise, French filmmaker François Ozon (“Swimming Pool”) sounds almost unfamiliar with his own work when he reveals, “For a long time, I’ve wanted to make a film about secrets and lies.” Wasn’t 2013’s “Young & Beautiful,” about a teenager keeping her life as a prostitute from her parents? And 2014’s “The New Girlfriend,” built around a widower’s hidden penchant for cross-dressing?

But it’s a very different kind of subterfuge Ozon is exploring in his new film, “Frantz,” a black-and-white post-World War I tale of shared grief and tense rapprochement. In 1919 Germany, a young woman named Anna (newcomer Paula Beer) mourns...

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