9 August 2012 | guy-bellinger
An experiment in sociologial humor
Co-parenting, LGBT parenting, the effects of same sex parents' education on the development of "their" children - notably their sexual orientation -, surrogacy, artificial insemination, blended families, are much debated issues in our current society. But if it is easy to TALK about such subjects in a theoretical manner it is far trickier to manage to ILLUSTRATE them in a movie without being either preachy or smutty. Well it looks as if director-writer Bérénice André, who was herself brought up by gay parents, has found the right approach and captured the right tone in her medium-length film entitled "Mon Arbre" (meaning in fact My Family Tree). She has indeed the good idea to tell about all that through the eyes of Marie, a ten-year-old little girl, who, during the Christmas holidays, is driven to travel from one household to another: freshness guaranteed! On the other hand, what better way is there than humor to sweeten the pill? "Mon Arbre" says serious things, but has the elegance to say them lightly through based on observation comedy. With such a winning cocktail, Bérénice André's journey into the chaotic world of step-families can only be pleasurable.
In the company of little Marie (played by the engaging young Léopoldine Vigouroux), you will indeed find time goes by very quickly. At the end of the 48-minute running time, you will surely want more. Among the sources of merriment: Marie's lapse into catholic mysticism (Couldn't she be the fruit of The Immaculate Conception ?) , the apparitions of Virgin Mary in the... fridge! and , best of all, the irresistible conversation in the train between Marie and Marion, a cheeky preteen girl who finds Marie's family horribly confusing but nevertheless struggles hard to sort things out..
Very lively and well edited, "Mon Arbre" is an invigorating and astonishing experiment in... sociological humor! I hope Bérénice André, who works most of the time as an assistant director, will have the opportunity to make feature-length films in the near future. Something tells me that there is a lot of fun ahead. ..