The harsh world of playground politics is seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl in a gripping debut from Belgian writer-director Laura Wandel.
The original title, meaning ‘a world’, suggests that a school is a self-enclosed universe with its own customs and abuses – and a microcosm of the injustices outside. Nora (mesmerising newcomer Maya Vanderbeque) arrives in a new school, nervous about leaving her dad and yearning for the protection of big brother Abel (Günter Duret). In fact, it’s Abel who faces bullying – and when Nora tries to help him, his ordeal only worsens. Laura Wandel’s extraordinary debut is a triumph in terms of focus and concision, with the action restricted to the school premises and the camera held exactly at Nora’s child’s-eye height.
Arguably one of the best films ever made about childhood; without doubt, one of the most gripping, and lucidly truthful.
Programme Type: Film
Strand Type: Maverick Mondays
Director: Laura Wandel
Cast: Maya Vanderbeque, Günter Duret
Running Time: 72 minutes