Despite the pandemic and the limited number of films released in theaters in 2020, the award season has started for French cinema, which does not intend to resign itself to an extended theatrical closure since the end of October.
After the Lumière prize of the international press, awarded last week to The things we say, the things we do by Emmanuel Mouret, the Louis-Delluc 2020 prize went to the documentary Adolescents, by the filmmaker Sébastien Lifshitz, announced Tuesday, January 26, the president of the jury, Gilles Jacob.
The film, which received a very good critical reception when it was released in early September, follows the journey of two young girls from the same college in Brive-la-Gaillarde from the age of 13 until their majority with the wish of the director of “Take the time to accompany a long-term adolescence, in its passions, its doubts, its metamorphoses and also the pressures undergone”.
” Five years of transformations and first times, on which the author casts a discreet and modest look, at the right distance without ever being intrusive », Estimated the review published in The cross qualifying the film as a work ” delicate and fair “.
→ READ OUR CRITICAL. Five years with “Adolescentes”, the age of possibilities
Its director, Sébastien Lifshitz, 53, author in particular of Invisible (2012), on the journey of homosexuals, women and men born in the interwar period, is known for his work which has explored the question of gender and the margins for the past twenty years. His latest film ” Little girl “, broadcast at the end of 2020 on Arte tells the story of a child born in the body of a boy and expressing his identity as a girl.
The filmmaker judged this award “Very honorary” for a documentary “Placed like that as a fiction in the Pantheon of cinema”. It has been twelve years since the prize, awarded by a jury made up of twenty film critics and renowned for its artistic standards, had not been awarded to a documentary. Since Modern life, by Raymond Depardon, third part of his series Farmer profiles and Louis-Delluc Prize in 2008.
Celebrate the diversity and richness of French cinema
In the First Film category, the jury also awarded the magnificent Josep, by cartoonist Aurel, an animated film about an anti-Franco fighter. A work which Gilles Jacob highlighted “The strength of the subject and the qualities of drawing and sound, voice included, (which) give emotion and efficiency to this animation with its refined graphics”.
Through the very real destiny of Catalan designer Josep Bartoli, Aurel recalls the tragic episode of the “Retirada”, the exodus to France of 450,000 Spanish Republicans fleeing Franco in 1939. “ An animated, moving and unique feature film, which works from memory while paying tribute to graphic art ”, had estimated The cross at its output.
→ READ. “Josep”, an animated film against the forgetting of the Spanish exiles
By choosing during this very special period to reward a documentary and an animated film, the Louis-Delluc Prize thus celebrates the diversity and richness of French cinema and its capacity to resist in the face of hardship. “Anything that can serve the cinema is more than necessary”, underlined Gilles Jacob during the announcement of the award. Last year it was awarded to Jeanne by Bruno Dumont, revisiting the figure of Joan of Arc, with Lise Leplat Prudhomme and Fabrice Luchini.