Winner of the Special Youth Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Jean-Claude Brisseau’s social commentary on neglected youth is as relevant in 2010 as it was in 1988. Bruno (Vincent Gasperitsch) is a quiet boy who has just moved into a run-down high rise with his never present mother. His mother needs to work all the hours possible in order to give her son any type of life, meaning their only communication is through letters. Starting a new school, Bruno befriends resident trouble maker Jean-Roger (Francois Negret). Jean-Roger has an equally troubled background. His Grandfather (Antono Garcia) is bed-ridden with terminal illness, whilst his father Marcel (Bruno Cremer) is a gun crazy drunk annoyed at his eldest son Thierry’s (Thierry Helaine) determination to break the family mould. Thankfully, Bruno’s teacher (Fabienne Babe) recognises his potential and tries to take him under her wing.
Gang violence is an inherent to the teenies as it was to the eighties, which doesn’t make De Bruit Et De Fureur any less shocking. Bruno, an easy going, shy child just needs some love and will do anything for that attention. Though he knows Jean-Roger is not a wise choice of friend, there appear to be few alternatives. What little attention he receives at school from his attentive teacher does not translate to outside the classroom. As opposed to return home to his empty flat, filled only with his sexually charged apparitions (Lisa Heredia), Bruno would rather join Jean-Roger in his innocent tom-foolery. Yet, when rejected by the local gang for being too young, Bruno leaves Jean-Roger to self destruct. Yet when his pet budgie, Superman, his only true friend fleas home all the violence comes to a head.
Winner of the Special Youth Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
The stark imagery of De Bruit Et De Fureur ensures that it is as hard hitting as any Ken Loach film, whilst being a strong pre-cursor to Larry Clark’s Kids. Honest portrayals from the withdrawn Gasperitsch and playful Negret ensure that both Bruno and Jean-Roger are innocently amiable, despite their harsh situations. Bruno Cremer is occasionally a tad too much of a caricature, but never to the extent of losing the heart of the piece. The high levels of adolescent violence and sexuality would in a lesser film be controversial, yet with a strong message and blunt delivery, De Bruit Et De Fureur is anything but voyeuristic.
De Bruit Et De Fureur is available alongside Un Jeu Brutal as part of a Jean-Claude Brisseau double DVD set. Out now from Axiom Films.