This tasteful, muted exploration of personal trauma imagines the aftermath of a fictional terrorist attack in modern-day Paris, presumably inspired by the Bataclan massacre of 2015.
When single mother Sandrine (Ophélia Kolb) is killed, her 24-year-old brother, David (Vincent Lacoste), must assume responsibility for her seven-year-old daughter, Amanda (Isaure Multrier). Multrier has an incredibly expressive face, able to telegraph a grieving child’s mixed emotions, spanning anger, pain, petulance, incredulity and ruddy-cheeked joy. It’s also touching to watch David’s confidence and sense of purpose grow as their relationship blossoms.
Still, the film shies away from any kind of political commentary, and as a result feels oddly sapped of fire or urgency. There are glimmers of context, such as a refugee camp shown from the vantage point of a tree, just beyond the periphery of the park where David works. A TV news reporter declares that “Islamist terrorism is the most likely explanation” for the attack, but it’s a snippet overheard in a bar. David and Amanda pass a pair of locals shouting something at a veiled Muslim woman, but the conversation is inaudible. This cultivated distance, coupled with Anton Sanko’s wistful score and the creamy-white light that bathes Paris’s manicured streets, only works to further ensconce them in a bubble of privilege. Not a problem if that were the point, but in a scene that sees Amanda ask her uncle why their family doesn’t believe in God, it seems as though director Mikhaël Hers is emphasising his own supposedly neutral position.
Source: The Guardian