18 January 2008 | Andy-296
Thoughtful but disheartening look at life in the banlieus
This French film is a quite disheartening look at life in the public housing projects outside Paris. In a crumbling neighborhood with a majority of immigrants from Northern Africa, a high school tries to produce a play by Pierre Marivaux (1688-1763). The heart of the film is the budding romance between the vivacious blonde Lydia (one of the few "native" French living in the neighborhood) and the shy and painfully inarticulate Krimo, who is ridiculized by his thuggish friends for taking a part in the play. All the kids speak in an unintelligible slang, which makes a contrast with the classical French of Marivaux. I wrote it was disheartening (despite not being a drama) because it shows that the marginalized inhabitants of the projects have an almost nil chance of breaking into the mainstream of French society. Thoughtful and worth seeing.