The scene is set one Summer in La Ciotat, a town near Marseille which used to be prosperous thanks to its huge dockyard but has been in decline since its closing 25 years before. It is in ...
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The scene is set one Summer in La Ciotat, a town near Marseille which used to be prosperous thanks to its huge dockyard but has been in decline since its closing 25 years before. It is in this context of quiet desperation that a writing workshop has been set up to help a group of seven young people integrate into the world of work. Under the guidance of well-known novelist Olivia Dejazet, the participants are asked to write a noir fiction connected with the industrial past of their hometown. Session after session, one of them, a boy named Antoine, stands out. Provocative and aggressive, he gets noticed by his systematic opposition to all, including Olivia. Even more alarming, the story he has devised and that he reads aloud, the cold description of a mass murder seen through the eyes of its perpetrator, proves very disturbing. Antoine understands the killer too well. At this point, Olivia starts experiencing a feeling of attraction repulsion to Antoine.Written by
French situation described with nerve and intelligence
Not unlike Laurent Cantet's famous movie "Entre les murs", this new one "The Workshop" (Originally "L'atelier", the film takes us to a class with different personalities. In both films we meet a group of French teenagers, brought together under the supervision of a teacher.
Location is a French southern coastal town not far from Marseilles, La Ciotat, a town on the Mediterranean coast, which is beautifully filmed.
The Workshop starts off with a class i creative writing which is to make the script of a thriller novel, and develops into a story which seem to spiral out of control due to one of the students, Antoine, which is a smart guy, but with obvious right wing thoughts when it comes to politics, though he says politics isn't of interest.
La Ciotat is a port yard town in decline, but with nostalgic memories of its important past. The town is almost as a player in this itself, and when an elegant Parisian author Olivia Dejazet, great played by Marina Foïs, the student in the workshop finds her a snob.
Dejazet is intrigued by the loner Antoine, with provocative attitude at the workshop. Antoine is brilliantly played by Matthieu Lucci, which is soon the main character in the movie.
I won't tell more, except that it all spins out of control, and the film's best part is the tension and the question you start asking yourself.
I would say this film in a very good way discusses the problems of modern French society today, with the start tensions which should be a huge concern.
The film also refers to the Bataclan massacre, the Norwegian right winged terrorist Behring Breivik and his massacres as well as the truck driving terror incidents. Terrorism is not all a muslim activity.
Political yes, but also a psychological drama between strong characters, and a French society under the microscope.
I found the movie exiting in three ways. First what was going to happen, secondly what I would have done as the teacher, and thirdly the way the film takes up this discussion.
I love that fact. the film is intelligent, and worth all the praise it's got from critics.
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