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Mumu (2010)

The story a rescue, the rescue of a bad brat's life in the post-WWII period. In 1947, Roger reaches 11 years old. He's a kid badly loved, mischievous and specializes in silly things to do. ... See full summary »


Joël Séria


Joël Séria




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvie Testud ... Mumu
Jean-François Balmer ... Monsieur le curé
Bruno Lochet ... Saucisse
Michel Galabru ... Gâtineau
Dominique Pinon ... Père de Roger
Balthazar Dejean de la Bâtie Balthazar Dejean de la Bâtie ... Roger
Valentin Ferey Valentin Ferey ... Perchard
Prune Lichtle Prune Lichtle ... Mère de Roger
Héléna Noguerra ... Madame Rotaillot
Margaux Masia Margaux Masia ... Maria
Antoine de Caunes ... Le Colonel
Sylvie Huguel Sylvie Huguel ... La bonne du Colonel
Emmanuel Delivet Emmanuel Delivet ... L'évêque
Amandine Chauveau Amandine Chauveau ... L'institutrice des filles
Guillaume Crozat Guillaume Crozat ... Le médecin


The story a rescue, the rescue of a bad brat's life in the post-WWII period. In 1947, Roger reaches 11 years old. He's a kid badly loved, mischievous and specializes in silly things to do. He is sent to a small boarding school in a small village. Mumu reigns over here. She's not the bitchest school teacher of the area. Roger has already been expelled from several schools and this is his last chance to avoid the reformatory his father has been promising him for a long time. But this is will change with the vigilance of Mumu, who, despite her strict aspects, proves herself to have a big heart. Written by Paulo Ramirez

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Did You Know?


This film is autobiographical of Joël Séria who spent 16 years making it. Séria wanted Jean-Pierre Marielle to play Gatineau, but he had to decline for health reasons. See more »

User Reviews

Growing up after WW2
11 June 2018 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Joel Seria'first effort came aside as a shock in 1972:"Mais Ne Nous Délivrez Pas du mal"was scandalous ,heterical and nefarious :two girls stifle in their catholic boarding-school and rebel: they sleep together,they desecrate religion (check the title=don't deliver us from evil),burn the harvests,kill the animals and even commit murder;the three follow-ups followed suit and caused a scandal too.But from 1977 on ,Séria became self-indulgent and finesse became crudeness in such works as "Comme La lune ", "Les Deux Crocodiles"and the unspeakable horror of his "San Antonio".

After working for TV ,"Mumu " is his silver screen comeback and some people were disappointed ,because they were waiting for the nefarious side of Seria ;but the director was 74 when he made it and time had taken its toll ;which does not mean that "Mumu" is bad,far from it.

Nastiness and violence (and very soft sex) are still present though : the father ,the schoolmistress and even the vicar beat the living daylight out of the unfortunate young hero ;it takes place in 1947:the father could never get over his captivity in Germany;besides,he does think his younger son is not his and he makes him his punching bag ,his "Poil De Carotte".

And yet this kid is clever ,sensitive, longing to be loved ;the autobiographical story of the director ,it explains,in a way, his first movie :religion is omnipresent ,the vicar teaches latin (then the most prestigious subject)and English (which has since outshone the dead languages);they say a prayer before every meal;the pupils 'only outing is a pilgrimage during which they are only allowed one hour to play .

"Caricatures " sneered the critics... The schoolmistress (played by Sylvie Testud , a true character actress))appears first as a shrew in curlers ;sometimes her behavior towards her pupils verges on pathological violence ;but at the time,corporal punishment was not strictly forbidden ,and not only in France .Yet, you should not go by appearance: this teacher has no men (she's got nothing to attract them :it's much to Testud's credit to succeed in such a thankless part);at the time many of the schoolmistresses were spinsters ;she is in need of affection,and most of her pupils are indifferent ,scared by her severity,and often dunces -see what one of them knows about Joan of Arc-;they laugh when a thespian (Michel Galabru ,replacing Séria's old favorite of his earlier films who had to turn down the director's offer)spouts Hugo's "Oceano Nox" and who could blame them?

The vicar (Jean-François Balmer) seems a good man,but he slaps his pupils too when they do not pronounce "the" as they should ;and he does not think twice when it comes to making an example of the young hero :sending him back to his father who hates him does not move him that much.

So "Mumu" the teacher and her pupil do need each other ;finer feelings may be here ,but the cruel, hostile outside world is too ,and we do not even know if they have a future together ;pedagogy is still entangled in purely theoretical training ,in an atmosphere of purple ink,"Rossignol" anatomical charts and knowing by heart style ,and leaves no much room(or so little) for reasoning or psychology;but the relationship which grows between the teacher and this tormented soul eventually transcends all that fusty teaching ...


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Official Sites:

Gebeka Films [France]





Release Date:

24 March 2010 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Invatatoarea Mumu See more »


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