THEY ARE EVERYWHERE, which is it ? Of The Jews ? No, it is precisely this that try to show Yvan Attal in his last feature film : that it is not the jews but the anti-semites, who are everywhere and that it is not paranoia to think so. Through this film very committed, the director has decided to deal with a subject close to his heart in a particular format and in a tone which is not less in the hope of making people aware of the absurdity of certain prejudices frequently conveyed about the jews such as : “the jews are everywhere, jews have money, jews are plotting “, etc…
The excellent idea to approach this delicate subject on the tone of the humor, as biting as it is, to push the absurd ideas that are equally, follows, however, an album very uneven and somewhat disappointing.
For a start, it is necessary to emphasize the originality of the staging adopted by Yvan Attal, a choice which was necessary according to him to be able to treat as many different ideas into a single film while remaining coherent. This is how the director puts himself into the scene in a manner largely autobiographical, telling her “psych” (interpreted by the psychologist and writer Tobie Nathan) what it means to be a jew, in France and in our time. He speaks of his identity, but also of what it is to be called paranoid by those around him. He exposes in a simple way its ideas by reviewing a good number of views that are commonplace on the jews whose belief can be dangerous. For example,” the jews have money “, Yvan Attal evokes about the case, which has cost the lives of Ilan Halimi, kidnapped because he was a jew and, therefore, assumed to be rich… in Between these sessions are then interspersed skits taking apart each idea received. The first one deals for example of the fantasy maintained that ” the jews are everywhere “. Valérie Bonneton and Benoît Poelvoorde interpret a couple of the leader of the equivalent of the National Front. One learns that his great-grandmother was jewish, and as a result, all the consequences that this implies for their political image…
THEY ARE EVERYWHERE presented as being a ‘ tragi-comedy-drama” that would, with hindsight and derision, questions, or key points leading to anti-semitism said, growing up. Or in any case present (supported by certain facts of news clearly mentioned : the affairs Merah and Halimi, the hostage taking in the Hyper Hide, etc.). There is a red wire that are the sessions with the psych, extremely well-written and intelligent. The very choice of the meeting of psychoanalysis is a very good idea because it allows you to Yvan Attal to expose with sincerity all the words that he wishes to without being interrupted and asked. The texts being prepared, ideas are developed in a way that is very accessible, simple and effective. There is no matter of controversy : it sets out the factual data, explains some basics of the jewish religion, and transcribed with words his discomfort and his anger that they don’t feel French like the others because he is jewish, too. It also expresses the fact that religion interferes differently in the private and public spheres, evoking his personal experience that only involves him, but to which some may identify. His discourse is very coherent from the beginning to the end, even touching and thought provoking.
“In spite of original ideas and relevant dialogues, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE drags on and spreads to the detriment of the remarks that he defends”
The problem is that outside of these interventions, if effective it may be, it was sometimes hard to understand the intentions of the filmmaker because of the skits, they lack, frankly, of guideline. What baffles the viewer is the inequality of these short stories, in their own interest, their vocation, their style and their duration. Overall, we can say that the first two are very successful and that, in the end, the first hour of the film, in a genre that is nevertheless surprising, is brilliant, and manages largely to serve its purpose. Unfortunately, from the third sketch, which illustrates about ” The jews killed Jesus “, in which Gilles Lellouche is involved, the director, we will be permanently lost (and there is still 50 minutes of film !). Although it is the only one reflecting the lightness of tone that wanted to adopt Yvan Attal, this skit is too long (such as the following on the ” ras the bowl of the Shoah “) and on the other hand, his message, his place and his interest in the film leave to say the least, doubtful. Finally, if the following three are more consistent compared to the overall project, they suffer, either of length, or of a lack of clarity as to the underlying idea. They all have interesting elements, but not always easy to perceive for a lay public (one thinks in particular of the last sketch “And Israel?” in which the metaphor with Israel is not clear enough), and sometimes buried in such a anything he it’s nothing other than an opacity boring.
It is in the end the feeling was very mixed, which motivates us to get out of this film. One cannot help regretting its lack of effectiveness or accessibility, having regard to the importance of any messages or information, in a simple, but necessary vehicle. It is said that he would have just cut out a sketch and shorten a little some to get a great movie. In fact, the casting is prestigious and appealing, the intellectual quality was not lacking and the basic idea was really relevant. And in spite of certain qualities, the importance of the social issue of THEY ARE EVERYWHERE, probably at night some of the editorial choices (by refusing to prioritize certain messages to other for example) and this is reflected in the level of the result, affecting the overall appreciation of the film.
AGREE ? NOT AGREE ?
• Production : Yvan Attal
• Screenplay : Yvan Attal & Emilie Frèche
• Main actors : Yvan Attal, Benoît Poelvoorde, Valérie Bonneton,Charlotte Gainsbourg
• Country of origin : France
• Released : June 1, 2016
• Duration : 1h51
• Distributor : Wild Bunch Distribution
• Synopsis : Yvan feels persecuted by an anti-semitism growing up and he was in the habit to hear that he exaggerates, that he is paranoid. During sessions with his psych, Yvan speak that which concerns him : his identity, being French and jewish today…