SWAGGER is a beautifully shot, deftly edited documentary about life in the projects of the tough Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, as seen through the eyes of eleven middle school students, most of whom are first generation French citizens. Speaking directly to the camera as if it were a long- trusted confidante, these extraordinary young people talk about love, being French, life in the projects, and their visions of the future. SWAGGER seduces not only by the maturity, generosity, and frankness of its memorable subjects, but by the filmmaker’s efforts to lift it out of the quotidian by including charming flights of fancy that illustrate the children’s unspoken dreams. Shot in bold colors, with breathtaking aerial photography and a score by Jean-Benoît Dunckel, one half of legendary French electronic duoAir, SWAGGER is much more than another documentary about children’s resilience in challenging circumstances. But perhaps the film’s greatest accomplishment is to leave the viewer feeling she has made eleven new friends in a place she had never dreamed of visiting.
YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA is a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.