In us: an ode to public service, powerfully political [critique]

Eleven years later, Régis Sauder returns to the places and protagonists of his documentary We, Princess of Clèves and paints a nuanced portrait of France today.

In 2011, in reaction to the mockery made by the candidate and then President Nicolas Sarkozy towards The Princess of Clèves and his uselessness in teaching it to the younger generations, Régis Sauder had settled down with his camera in a high school in the northern district of Marseille to both animate a writing workshop around the work of Madame de La Fayette with the first and final classes and tell this experience through a documentary: We, Princess of Cleves. A film that joyfully and brilliantly celebrated the benefits of culture and more precisely classic literature among French youth of the 21st century that some considered totally incapable of appropriating. Eleven years later, with In U.SRégis Sauder wanted to come back to this establishment where he had put his camera and found some of his students so that they could tell the story in front of the camera, off-screen or in dialogue about what remains of these hopes for freedom, equality and fraternity that they claimed. Anything but a catalogue, these 100 minutes paint a nuanced portrait of today’s France through life stories that are sometimes painful but never miserable, driven by a desire to escape programmed ruts. An ode to public service – particularly to a school and its major role as a social lift, despite bloodless means – which testifies to the immense talent as a confessor of a filmmaker who disappears (in images as in words) behind those they film.

CT

Country France. Of Regis Sauder. Documentary. Duration : 1h37

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