Director: Stéphane de Freitas, Ladj Ly
2016, France, 99 minutes
Every year, hundreds of students from all over the department of Seine-Saint-Denis face off in Eloquentia, a contest to crown the best orator in this wildly diverse, sprawling suburb of Paris. Out Loud follows a group of college students preparing for Eloquentia through an intensive six weeks of workshops in classical rhetoric, acting, slam poetry, and breathing techniques, then into the tournament itself. Smoothly juxtaposing fly-on-the-wall scenes of the group in the classroom and the amphitheater with interviews and solo scenes with a few participants (and the future winner!), directors de Freitas and Ly create an inspiring portrait, by turns riotous, by turns poignant, of a young generation of every creed and color brought together by a shared commitment to the French art of rhetoric. The viewer will not soon forget Elhadj, a formerly homeless young man now running an NGO in West Africa, Leïla, a shy
Syrian-French woman who forces herself to become an orator to “redefine feminism,” or Eddy, a fledgling actor from a tiny village who has to walk ten kilometers every day to catch a train to class.
Presented as part of the Young French Cinema program presented by JHU