Les Roseaux Sauvages
Time Out saysAn intelligent, bitter-sweet account of teenage life in south-west France in 1962. The Algerian War still rages, forging alliances and creating divisions between a group of schoolchildren already confused by issues of class and sexuality: François anguished over his passion for the briefly responsive Serge, peasant brother of a would-be army deserter; Maité, daughter of the boys' communist teacher, and François' best friend; and new-kid Henri, clever, stand-offish and, having been born in Algeria, virulently against the idea of independence. These four variously fall out, make up, and edge hesitantly towards adulthood. The film impresses for its authenticity, careful delineation of mood, and subtle balancing of the personal and political. Téchiné wins sterling support from his young cast, who give the kind of quiet, naturalistic performances the French are so good at. A delicacy to savour.