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[CRITICAL] DAMAGES

PREJUDICE, a strong track for a film that is no less. First feature film more than promising directed by Antoine Cuypers, it is neither perfect nor pleasant, but captive of end-to-end with a poignant story and incredibly well construed.

Nathalie Baye and singer ARNO (Hitjens) y embody a couple bourgeois of sixty years, little accompanied, and of which the youngest milf (Cedric), has no other choice than to live under their roof. Achieved we do not know what condition (it is assumed a form of autism but it is purposely not specified), the latter is assumed to be unable to go it alone. Convinced that this would be too dangerous for him, her mother refuses any action that may involve a form of autonomy or freedom, outside of a few household chores… Cedric is, therefore, treated like a child, the tenderness and the indulgence in the least. Yet it has only one dream : to travel with his father in Austria, a country which he has learned everything by heart and that he speaks with so much love and desire that we would want to go on-the-field. He prepares for this adventure each day with a thoroughness and energy out of the common but his mother continues to oppose it. Then one evening, with the impression that, as usual, that the fate of his brothers and sisters are interested in and excited more than his own, he explodes during a dinner, around which the whole family is reunited…

Well decided to make them realize and admit the injury of which he feels he is a victim since always, Cedric will face in turn. It is as well, with a lot of hardness, that we are witnessing the reactions of everyone. And although the director had the idea of presenting things in a way that one guard of the judge, this is not always possible for several reasons. First, because it is a drama that is going on under our eyes. That of a young man who utters a last cry of distress, to try to make themselves understood within their own family. Who fights for the recognition of the fact that it is just different, as we all are, and not “unfit” or abnormal as we repeat it to him since his childhood – that reminds me of a little, in a different register, the issue dealt with in The Boys and Guillaume, table !. Who proclaims his law and his ability to lead an existence more rich socially, physically and intellectually, than that to which it would have been unfairly assigned. Who can no longer bear to be infantilisé, to be ostracized, to feel the looks fearful, suspicious or exasperated that arise on him.

Then, how not to be revolted, not wanting to take the defense of Cedric, to protect it, then that it finally seems to have reactions to the sound ? It proves, moreover, in a kind of advocacy beautifully written and declaimed. Thus, this dinner is like a court case brought against his family which he hopes to obtain a token compensation for the moral prejudice suffered : a recognition, or simply an apology that would sound like a salvation for the future.

Finally, how not to go to empathise with this character played with so much accuracy and talent by Thomas Blanchard ? Through the figure of Cedric, it upsets us, moves us, convinces us… to such A point that we forget momentarily how much it is difficult to judge what happens in a family, whatever it is.

“Through a poignant story and incredibly well construed, PREJUDICE to captive end-to-end.”

This is precisely the goal of the film. A matter of considerable treated fairly violent but not larmoyante, without ever pay in the melodrama : how to know where stops the reason, and where begins the madness of each of them ? How to condemn the actions of parents who are not malicious but act with their faculties, their history and their neuroses own, often unaware of the devastating impact of their actions and their words ? How not to admit that we all commit errors in the education of our children ? Which is complex and which is fairly well implied in the film is that most of the time there is no fault or willingness of family members to hurt one of them. No, quite often the pain and frustration are the result of a different interpretation of things. It is for this reason that it is also difficult to obtain a “confession” of his alleged executioner : because it does not realize the evil of what he was doing and that the denial is better than an awareness late, too painful to bear.

However, in some scenes, there are many behaviors cowards and selfish, against which it can rise without the complex (including those of the father and the sister). Others, on the contrary, give us to think and compel us to consider the situation with a dose of empathy for everyone, without letting themselves be overwhelmed by the apparent cruelty that meets the eye. In particular, at the end, through a song of Françoise Hardy, The house where I grew up (voluntarily inserted in a sequence passive to be able to listen carefully), the director invites us to understand what a disillusion could also be the life of this woman we would have, first of all, happy to want to condemn the severity, and the words so hurtful.

In the end, if he is careful to make us understand clearly what is going on in the mind of everyone, Antoine Cuypers provides us with enough elements for us to forge our own opinion. An opinion that is likely to differ from one person to another in function of his experience and of his own family.

Through a realization of the singular, a staged quasi-theatrical since it takes place in a place and a unique moment, as well as framing tight, it succeeds, in addition, we plunge into the intimate atmosphere of the film, as if we were truly at the table with this family. However, it should be mentioned that it is precisely these aspects that also have a few imperfections. For example, the timing of the meal itself, his conduct, is not always consistent — even at the entrance, they seem to be at the table for several hours. Similarly, some of these close-ups (especially in motion) that alternate with blurred, background music, sometimes too far, are a little tiring. As for rhythm, it is quite slow and the atmosphere a little strange, if not slightly surreal in places, but the director manages to keep us guessing until the end, hanging from the lips of the protagonists.

Stephanie Ayache

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INFORMATION


Original title : Prejudice

Realisation: Antoine Cuypers

Screenplay: Antoine Cuypers & Antoine Wauters

Main actors : Thomas Blanchard, Nathalie Baye, Arno Hintjens, Ariane Labed, Eric Caravaca, Cathy Min Jung,…

Country of origin : Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland

Released : February 3, 2016

Duration : 1 hour 45 minutes

Distributor : Les Films du Losange

Synopsis : During a family meal, Cedric, thirties, still living at home with his parents, learns that his sister is expecting a child. While everyone welcomes this news, she provokes in him a resentment that will turn into fury. He then tries to establish, in the eyes of others, the prejudice of which he felt victim of always.

Between unsaid and paranoia, revolt and pretenses, until where a family can go to keep his balance ?
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