Malony (Rod Paradot) is growing up in the north of France with no family structure. As a teenager, he becomes increasingly angry at the world around him and finds himself in constant trouble with the law, which threatens to doom him to a downward spiral. With the help of a sympathetic judge (Catherine Deneuve) and caseworker (Benoît Magimel), Malony may have a chance to see life differently. Director Emmanuelle Bercot looks unflinchingly at the French juvenile system through the eyes of this troubled youth, a role for which actor Rod Paradot was awarded the 2016 César (French Oscar) for Best Male Newcomer.
FOCUS ON Field Research
“The first thing I did was to go spend time with my uncle. I asked him to talk to me about his experience as a counselor. He introduced me to other counselors and a juvenile judge in Valence. I had the opportunity to observe court hearings, I spent time in a juvenile detention center, and I read an awful lot of books on the subject as well as watched every reportage and documentary I could find about it, taking copious notes. This initial approach was deeply upsetting and terrifying. How can one not feel compassion and understanding for these children who have been damaged by terrible family dramas, by poverty and often by their parents’ abdication of their responsibility?” -Emmanuelle Bercot