Young Solitude (Premières solitudes)
Wednesday 16 September at 7.30pm
Claire Simon│France│2018│100 mins│Exempt
A collaborative group portrait of high school students at a suburban Parisian school, providing a subtly radical model for how young people deserve to be seen and heard. “For Claire Simon’s new documentary, Young Solitude, in which she observes and listens to ten students (eight girls and two boys) in a suburban high school near Paris, the director takes an exceptionally immersive approach: she does her own camerawork and recruits some of the participating students to record sound. The film shows the teen-agers (in the French equivalent of the eleventh grade) speaking to one another with a revelatory frankness about relationships—especially with their parents. With a blend of self-aware sociological context and psychological insight, the ethnically diverse group of students, almost all of whose parents have divorced or are otherwise separated, lay bare the wounds they’ve suffered from their parents’ remoteness, distraction, or personal troubles – and the effect of their family lives on their own relationships and future plans. Simon elicits discussions of a novelistic depth; her assertive images give the students’ words physical impact.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker
Our screening of Young Solitude is presented in co-operation with the Embassy of France and the Institut Français.