Un monde: a film as striking as it is suffocating on school bullying [critique]

Laura Wandel recounts the harassment at the height of a child. An everyday horror film… with fascinating accuracy.

In a world bombarded with images in every direction, the schoolyard remains a sanctuary, one of the rare places not yet documented every second. So much the better for the mental health of the parents… and the imagination of the filmmakers who, while documenting what is happening there, can evolve in a place that remains mysterious. A world plunges precisely into the playground to make it the land of the most frightening of horror films: the terror of everyday life. We follow Nora, a primary school student, confronted with the harassment of which her older brother Abel is the victim. What to do ? What to say ? Who to talk to to stop the hell and not make it worse? She will, in fact, find herself torn between Abel who asks her to keep silent, her father who pushes her to speak but also her need to integrate, while associated with the school’s whipping boy, she sees the others turn away from her.

LAURA WANDEL: “I WANTED SPECTATORS TO PHYSICALLY FEEL THE VIOLENCE OF A WORLD”

Laura Wandel recounts this conflict of loyalty and this cruelty… from the height of children. We only see the faces of the adults – who we feel totally lost – when they bend down to talk to them. Embedded in scenes where they obviously cannot rely on their nature alone, Maya Vanderberque and Günter Duret deliver a fascinating composition that greatly contributes to this state of permanent tension, reinforced by the incessant hubbub of the playground. Under perfectly digested Dardenian influence, Laura Wandel physically engages the viewer in her story. We come out KO, upset and impressed. Whether this first feature left Cannes empty-handed remains a mystery.

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