A little girl, about ten years old and already sharp-tongued, is sitting on the grass next to a pond and talking to Hugo, off-camera. They’re discussing Chaïnes, whom this one was in love with… or wasn’t. The little girl is insistent – he really liked her. Imperceptibly, the film switches to Hugo’s memories and the moments spent with Chaïnes by this very same pond a few months earlier. The two teenagers fool around, tease each other, and are made fun of by passers-by. Nearby, the little Mia is learning how to catch fish with a friend; rival gangs try to pick fights. Time passes, but we don’t really know where it goes…
Tendre tells a story but is not built around a narrative: there are no clearly-defined narrative stages, no linear progression, but instead unpolished moments, blocks of time and spaces that leave viewers to perceive an aspect of the relationships it details. Isabel Pagliai examines times of day with varying light between bright sunshine and dusk, each creating a different spectrum of intimacy. For above all, her still frame sequences are devised so that her actors can play in the playful sense of the word – not to advance the narrative but to venture into life with both levity and gravity, to bring out the unexpected radiance of intimacy or tenderness that the film aims to capture. (N.L.)
Original version: French.
Screenplay: Isabel Pagliai, Mathias Bouffier.
Cinematography: Isabel Pagliai.
Editing : Mathias Bouffier.
Sound : Jérôme Petit, Martin Delzescaux, Simon Apostolou.
Cast : Chaïnes Bizot, Hugo Mercier, Mia Desmoulin, Tony Desmoulin, Teddy Desmoulin, Léa Desmoulin, Kylian Desmoulin.
Production : 5A7 Films (Martin Bertier).
Distribution : Manifest (Anaïs Colpin).
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