A DRAMATIC FILM (UN FILM DRAMATIQUE)
France, 2019 / 114 min / French OV with English subt. / documentary
From age 11 to 14, school children from Seine-Saint-Denis film snippets of their lives and offer a reflection on the state of contemporary France.
What are we doing together? A recurring question for the students of the film group in a middle school of Seine-Saint-Denis in the Parisian suburbs, and for Éric Baudelaire who worked with them over the course of four years, from age 11 to 14. Answering this political question – one that involves representations of power, social violence and identity – led them to seek a cinematic form that does justice to the uniqueness of each student, but also to the substance of their group. The final film has transformed into an amorphous and ebullient collective project. At once a portrait of a diverse group of students during critical years of growth, captured at a time of political upheaval, A Dramatic Film is also a film about friendship, emancipation, trust, performance, and, in particular, the act of filmmaking for a generation raised by selfies and YouTube. Over time, as the students age, they discover the possibility to speak in their own name by filming others and to become co-authors of the film.
“A work of refreshing spontaneity and continuous revelation.” Jordan M. Smith, Nonfics
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“[Baudelaire’s film] conveys the capacious lyricism we tend to associate with the cinema of Agnès Varda. This is one of the year’s very best.” Michael Sicinsk, cinemascope.com
“This is a wonderful experimental film in which children express themselves in simple interactions with the camera and amongst themselves, and in a way, due to its time-lapse, could even have elements of a coming of age film. Often incisive as well as laugh out loud funny solely based on these incredibly bright, observant children, A Dramatic Film emerges as a commentary on what the future will be like once these kids grow into their adult selves.” The Cinephile’s Nook, 14/11/19
- Audience Award – Departures Feature, Indie Memphis, 2019 (USA)
Eric Baudelaire is an artist and filmmaker based in Paris, France. After training as a political scientist, Baudelaire established himself as a visual artist with a research-based practice. His feature films Also Known As Jihadi (2017), Letters to Max (2014), The Ugly One (2013), The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years Without Images (2011) have circulated widely in film festivals, including Locarno, Toronto, New York, FID Marseille and Rotterdam. His artistic practice, rooted in research work, also includes photographs, prints, performances and publications that he incorporates into installations around his films. He is the winner of the Marcel Duchamp art prize 2019.
- 2019 – Un Film dramatique (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
- 2018 – Walked The Way Home (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
- 2017 – Also Known as Jihadi (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
- 2014 – Letters to Max (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
- 2013 – The Ugly One
- 2011 – The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
- 2010 – Sic (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
- 2009 – The Makes (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)