French Title: Swagger
Genre: Documentary
Director: Olivier Babinet
Distributor: Lucky You
Length: 84 min
Country: France
Release: U.S. Premiere
Select Awards: ACID Cannes 2016: Official Selection; César Awards Nomination: Best Documentary; Namur Francophone Film Festival: Official Selection; Lumiere Awards Nomination: Best Documentary

Saturday, April 1 at 9:20am (Bow Tie Cinemas, Greenwich, CT)

Swagger swoops into the astonishing minds of eleven teenagers growing up in one of the most underprivileged housing projects in France, located in Aulnay-sous-Bois. The film shows us the world through an amalgam of their singular and unexpected gazes, their funny and incisive thoughts. Swagger gives life to the words and dreams of these young people. Despite lives of economic hardship, these teens are filled with ambition, promise, joy—and swagger.

FOCUS ON: Swagger

When I arrived in Aulnay, the kids there kept using the word “swag.” Then, a year later, when I asked Régis to tell me about “swag”, he looked at me condescendingly: “‘Swag’ is out… Now we say ‘swagance’, ‘swagologist’…” I felt a little sheepish so I looked up the origin of the word. I read that it comes from “swagger”, the first written record of which can be found in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! “What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here so near the cradle of the fairy queen?” In the 50s, it was used to talk about Sinatra: it referred to a bad boy’s classiness. The word re-emerged in Black American ghettos in the 90s before being used in Aulnay. It has regularly come back in fashion since the 16th century. I thought it was a good title for my film because my main characters have this stylish way of being in the world. They all have an attitude and things they want to defend: despite the hardships, the kids of Aulnay keep their heads up high. Because they have “swag.”
– Olivier Babinet


SELECT FILMOGRAPHY: Olivier Babinet – Director

Swagger – 2016

Robert Mitchum Is Dead – 2010

C’est plutôtt genre Johnny Walker – 2008 (Short)

C’était le chien d’Eddy – 2003 (Short)

Le Bidule – 1999 (TV)