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Cinema Box - Cannes Special: 'The Workshop'

Cinema Box - Cannes Special: 'The Workshop'
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Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet (2008) returns to the Cannes film festival, in the parallel section Un Certain Regard, with The Workshop.

Set in La Ciotat in the south of France, it follows a group of teenagers in need of social integration who are selected to take part in a summer writing workshop with Olivia (Marina Foïs) a renowned Parisian author. The aim is for the group to write a novel drawn on their own lives that will eventually be published.

While some play the game, others, like Antoine (Matthieu Lucci), struggle with the group dynamics. The introspective adolescent cultivates his misanthropy by swimming alone in the navy blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Despite Olivia’s efforts to inspire his writing by exploring his past, his city, and his feelings, Antoine seems completely cold. He opposes his peers and Olivia, who seeks to unravel the mystery surrounding him.

The film’s powerful and ultra-realistic dialogue reflects on the growing gap between France’s intellectual elite and its disenfranchised youth, who fill the void and fear in their lives by turning to radicalism. Both political and poetic, The Workshop is deeply effective in showing the power of words.

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