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Anne Le Ny,
Rather than serving a prison sentence, a bunch of delinquent teenagers is offered to work for one month in the country in a small village with their instructor (Roschdy Zem). As they come from high-risk suburbs and they aren't prepared for this exhausting life, this obligatory stay will prove to be grueling for them. And most inhabitants of the village aren't prepared to accept them.
Jean Pierre Sinapi signed two strong works before this "Camping à la Ferme": "Nationale 7" (2000) and "Vivre me Tue" (2002). In these films, the director got interested in human beings who were different to the world that surrounded them and learned how to accept their differences. "Camping à la Ferme" is virtually in the same league but a little below the quality of the two aforementioned works. How many times in cinema have we seen the well-worn topic of the clash of two cultures? Each young delinquent acts a too well known type of adolescent between the Muslim one and the business one. The inhabitants of the village are hostile to them, especially Dominique Pinon who acts a racist farmer. The film follows a predictable pattern with the usual ingredients: the discovery and respect of difference, generosity and love. What doesn't help matters is the educator who is tangled in his loving problems.
But Sinapi seemed aware of these dangers and he tried not to spread them too much in his film. Thus, his film is never crass or vulgar and at a pinch, it shouldn't be lambasted. But he should have deepened more the original points his scenario offered. Be that as it may, it's often funny and Roschdy Zem is in the right tone in his role and if his young partners seemed too caricatured, they're larger than life.
The director didn't like the title of his film which he deemed as "trite". I agree with him and in the end, we have a watchable product which tries to avoid as much as possible most of its tempting dangers but which should have gained by trusting some of its original directions. It's good for one viewing but that's all.
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