Les Diables

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Ruggia's follow-up to Le Gône du Chaâba maintains the writer/director's focus on children's experience, following two abandoned and angry teen siblings (Rottiers and Haenel) through the countryside around Marseille in constant flight from the yoke of adult authority. The boy, Joseph, tends to be hounded as a juvenile delinquent, but it's his autistic sister Chloé who's deemed in need of official care. Initially, with Chloé wrapped up in her haphophobia (fear of touch), their aim is to track down their mythologised home, but as the blows and frustrations keep coming, they visibly mature, carrying the film from Los Olvidados territory to something more like an underclass Rebel Without a Cause. Familiar fare, and a little unguided, but played with fierce conviction by the two leads, and directed with admirable, open-handed conviction.

By: NB

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