Small nature: a gripping and sensitive survival at child’s height [critique]

Samuel Theis traces the thread of his life and observes the secret paths of his childhood through the journey of an ultra-sensitive young boy who intends to open up to the world.

When both feet are still in their infancy but they already have the secret desire to take the plunge, the balance becomes unstable. Some still see in you small nature », when others, necessarily less numerous, already measure the underground power specific to a deflagration. Johnny (Aliocha Reinert, terrific), 10 years old, wants to jump up, open up, leave the public housing bar where his mother and stepfather stagnate… He’s an ultra-sensitive boy with long blond hair, but they could be green like the hero of Joseph Losey’s film. Everyone sees in him an object of curiosity, when he only aspires to move from his line (social determinism at full blast). His teacher (Antoine Reinartz) would like to accompany this change. But where this autobiographical account by Samuel Theis could have become an anti-Four Hundred Blows, celebrating the values ​​of the republican school, it takes on the look of a child’s survival that will end up cluttering up those who try to carry it. Johnny becomes encrusted, interprets the affection of adults in his own way. He is right without the others being wrong. With Small typeSamuel Theis, already co-director of party girl (Caméra d’Or 2014 in Cannes) returns to the sources of his childhood in the town of Forbach in Moselle. Here the a priori documentary part (non-professional interpreters…) is not there to validate anything. It is indeed the fiction that takes precedence. A touching film whose accuracy comes from the truth that emanates from each piece of a deceptively fragile film. “Nature”, yes; “small”, no, of course.

By Samuel Theis. With: Aliocha Reinert, Antoine Reinartz, Izïa Higelin… Duration: 1h33. Released March 9, 2022

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