Documentary filmmaker Claire Simon returns for a third time to the subject of French school life in her latest feature Young Solitude. At the Lycée Romain Rolland in Ivry-sur-Seine, a modest suburb just south of Paris, young voices take the lead as a group eleventh-graders interview each other in an improvised format about love, family life (or lack thereof), and hopes for the future. Candid and thoughtful with a tinge of melancholy, the mostly working-class kids find comfort in sharing with each other: about a parents’ recent divorce, how one was adopted from Nigeria, longing for connection with a father, or getting by on one’s own. Rarely are adults featured or introduced, creating a safe space for these intimate glimpses into lives on the verge of adulthood.
Filmography: At All Costs (1995), A Foreign Body (1997), Mimi (2003), Ça brûle (2006), God’s Offices (2008), Human Geography (2013), Le bois dont les rêves sont faits (2015), The Competition (2016)
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