1998. We find the young Lucas with an enormous problem. In a song he had composed, he had denounced the massacre of children by terrorists. Those condemned him to death (of course…) and sent Saïd (14 years), a boy of their organisation, to execute Lucas. But when Lucas and Saïd met, they discovered each one at the other the affection that they missed. Problem: if Saïd did not carry out his mission, it is him who would be killed with all his family, what Lucas could not accept. His decision was quickly taken…
Back to 1983. Lucas was then 12 years old. He has to keep company, during the holidays, to Erwan (15 years) whose parents set alone on a journey. Erwan defers on Lucas his bitterness to be thus forsaken. He treats him like a dog, obliging him to eat only bread and cheese, and to live without clothes, "like a dog". Lucas accepts bullying and humiliations, inspired by the example of Christ, so that Erwan is less unhappy. But some day Erwan goes too far, and Lucas spends a night between life and death. As a result, Erwan tries to redeem himself in little Lucas' eyes, and becomes attached to him. But after Lucas' stay, Erwan does not want to take the risk to see him again, fearing to see him becoming malicious like he, by growing up…
Nowadays. Alexis, 15 years, tries to live according to the message of love and hope left by Lucas to all the young people. One evening, in the street, he is extorted money by three delinquents: Naïm, Brieuc and Kevin. But thanks to his astuteness, it's he who takes a little money from them! At the same time, he shows them that one can have affection for them… if they accept it! Thereafter, he undertakes to set them on the right way again (with the difficulties we can imagine), making use of the conceptions of Lucas, with the assistance of his aunt Mireille with whom he lives, and of Pierre, a philosopher living as a hermit. In a very strong scene, Alexis succeeds in dissuading the best one from these youths, Brieuc, from committing suicide. But what these youths were unaware of, was that Alexis, very sick, lived his last weeks; when he sang "Corn Grain" in the cathedral, he knew that it was his story and he faced his destiny with the same courage as Lucas… He leaves the young people ten simple principles to make a success of their life.
It's a film that already saved lives. All the part about the drama of the suicide of young people was perceived by the medical film festival of Liege (Belgium) as a help to professionals to come in confidence with teenagers; the method of massage used by the young Alexis to dissuade his buddy Brieuc to kill himself, is now in use in Belgium.
This film can do understand to young people that affection between boys is not really a monstrosity…
There is also showed that violence ends up, early or late, backfiring on the authors. Even terrorists will now think twice, before killing innocent people.
There are also some scenes of naturism ; I was told that by making these images commonplaces, it can reduce the phantasms of some sexual delinquents. These scenes (like in Greystoke) are absolutely legal (the local authorities have verified it and found nothing wrong ; young people will have no problem with it, they are accustomed to it in their sport activities).
But the main message of the film is the example of young people like Lucas and Alexis, or older, like Pierre and Mireille, who faced the dramas of life. The end of the film is very moving, and we can see that, after dramas, we have to accept that life continues.
The young actors were asked to play very naturally, to "live" their character (“cinéma vérité”), without emphasis. Robert Castel (76 years, 62 films), in the last part, is extraordinary, and received an interpretation award at Paris ; are also good candidates Simone Langlois (the great international singer, who makes here her come back to cinema, after 45 years absence), and the young Sandy who had a very difficult double role (at 12 and at 15 years).
Festival official selections : Philadelphia, Granada (Spain), London (Portobello, main film of Youths Day), Brussels (“Special Mention of the Jury”), San Francisco, Paris (“Best actor” for Robert Castel), Strasbourg (France), SkyFest (Prize of Excellence), New York International Film Festival, The Accolade Competition (“Golden Award of Merit”), Indie Fest (award of Merit), Lucerne Showcase (CH). “Best narrative Feature” at California Film Awards (San Diego). “Award of Platinum” at Oregon Film Awards, “Gold Kahuna Award” at Honolulu Film Awards, “Bronze Palm Award” at Mexico Film Festival. Zimbabwe Festival. Lincoln University GNARL festival (UK). Toluca Lake Fernleif (“Best actor” for Robert Castel). Colortape “People's Choice Award”, Miami Independent Film Festival, Los Angeles Cinefest, winner at Independent Film Awards (USA) and at iChill Festival (Manila), Best feature at Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes, AIFF Cannes, Aab (India), Near Nazareth (Israël), LA Cinefest, Creation Film Festival (Canada), Boost Film Festival, Apple Martini Film Festival, Wipe Film Festival (Berlin), finalist at Amarcord Film Festival.
Even short excerpts (!) were selected and awarded: at Schull (Ireland), Paris, New York (“Special Mention granted by the Jury”), Punta del Este (Uruguay), Chicago; “Award of Excellence” at Best Shorts (USA)
Student project: No
Completion date: 03/01/2016
Shooting format: DV
Aspect ratio: 16/9
Film color: Yes
First-time filmmaker: Yes