“The young dancers in our film have the determination, the knack!”

the essential
With “Allons Enfants”, recorded in the hip-hop section of a Parisian high school, the duo Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai continue their work on the theme of choreographed art

Following “Relève”, a documentary about a creation by Benjamin Millepied at the Paris Opera, then “Move”, a series of five episodes dedicated to dance, the duo Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai now offer “Allons

children “their new feature film, which with sharpness, emotion and humanity focuses on the hip-hop department at the Lycée Turgot in Paris. A success.

Did you expect to capture so many emotions by making this recording?

Thierry Demaiziere: She came later. We met these kids and we spent a year with them without knowing what awaited us. We quickly realized that hip hop would almost be a pretext to tell and portray a generation both through the energy of hip hop and through the project they had. What moves in the film are them! Their gnaque, their desire to see a little light, their desire to dance, to keep up with their passion, means that we have a generation that is very moving.

Alban Teurlai: And then we suspected it, but we discovered that we move when we are 15 years old. They are not so much children anymore and not yet adults, and there is something a little magical at this age, in the way of looking at the world, in the way of formulating things, especially in Seconds. They have an unfiltered page, a very cash way of saying things.

How did you choose the character gallery?

TD: The selection was made as in the film with, at the beginning of the year, a meeting with the teachers. We started identifying faces, lines, and stories that we guessed, and then we would stick to the educational project. We came across children who broke out or failed in school, with heavy stories or out of school, with bad grades or a little boring. The Hip-Hop project is an educational tool that pushed us towards slightly difficult stories about children who save themselves by dancing.

Young people who are confronted with a world that is completely different from the one that is their …

TD: This is the second project! It is first and foremost an educational project, but it is also a political project on the part of the principal to invest in a school in the republic, with a real mix on the playground to take certain children out of a ghetto, so that everyone gets involved in something. bobo district, in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, where they discover codes they did not know. We now know that it takes several generations for the children in the classes that popular people reach a high level of education, so the social elevator is a bit broken down.

What is their view on the film and their image, which goes back 2 years …

ON: They love the movie, happy and proud to have been in it, they give a lot from other places in the movie, they give us their hard drive as they say. So for us, there was a fear that all of a sudden they would no longer necessarily be in phase with what they were giving. And on the contrary, everyone came out and said “We are not taking a word back from what we said 2 years ago.” Girls said to us “You filmed me when I did not have bangs, now I have bangs”, some had braces, pimples that have none, so it was quite small details as such …

There is also this determination that is to be taken and felt throughout the film. They are taxed as being a generation that will do nothing but …

TD: It is the opposite, they have the “deterrence”! We made a movie on deter, on gnaque. One of the characters, Maxime, says it very well “We go after people without will, we are born with clips where we are shown beautiful cars, money, so we want to bite into it!” So they want light and money, it’s normal at the age you want everything.

It even goes beyond that, two even say that dancing saved their lives …

TD: Yes, that was what we found most touching. They actually danced their story as Erwan staggering as he dances, Charlotte coming from an orphanage that feels transparent, her gaze filled with boredom that is almost out of school and has found no way to flourish, to express herself in school who starts dancing and suddenly becomes a goddess …

“Allons Enfants”, currently in theaters.

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