Directed by Xabi and Agnès Molia, “A good start” follows the struggling students of a unique class in France who try to change their destiny. A documentary to see at the cinema.
Writer and director, Xabi Molia moves back and forth between fiction and documentary. In the first register, we owe him 8 times standing up, Les Conquérants and Comme des rois (as well as the screenplay for Down with the King, Grand Prix of the Deauville Festival in 2021, of which he is one of the authors). And in the second, he is now presenting A Good Beginning, co-directed with his sister Agnès.
This is their second documentary together, ten years after Le Terrain, which followed different teams from the ASJ Aubervilliers football club. A good start takes place, meanwhile, in the school environment, but we find this notion of crossroads, in a unique class in France, in Grenoble, where pupils in a situation of dropping out of school spend their year of 3rd under the responsibility of a specialist teacher and two professors. And do ten weeks of internship in a company, to help them outline their professional future.
We obviously think of films like Being and Having by Nicolas Philibert, or the Palme d’Or Between the Walls by Laurent Cantet. But A good start was partly born following the attacks of November 13, 2015. And more precisely during the funeral of a friend of Xabi Molia, Matthieu, killed at the Bataclan, when one of their relatives took the floor to evoke the memory of the deceased, a teacher like him.
I was overwhelmed by the personality of the students, by the intensity of the exchanges, and a certain sense of urgency. Urgency to repair, urgency to find solutions to very worrying life situations
“Training teacher, Antoine [l’ami de Matthieu que le film suit, ndlr] specializes in supporting students in great difficulty”explains the director. “At the beginning, it was probably because he looked like my departed friend that I wanted to get to know him better. occupies in Grenoble, I had the impression that he was telling me scenes from a film. I went there for two days to see this class at work.
“I was overwhelmed by the personality of the students, by the intensity of the exchanges, and a certain sense of urgency. Urgency to repair, urgency to find solutions to very worrying life situations. On my return, I said to my sister, ‘I think there’s a movie'” A feeling that Agnès Molia did not take long to share: “We both went back there and it became a certainty. We had wanted to work together again for a long time, but we were waiting for a story to fall on us and for it to be obvious. That’s what happened with Anthony.”
“It brought us back to a subject that was already at the center of our first film (Le Terrain): adolescence, this time of change, so uncertain, where one is no longer really a child and not yet an adult. A ‘tipping age’ where everything is still open. This uncertainty is something that moves us a lot.” And now it’s your turn to be moved, thanks to this film which will introduce you to the Starter device.
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A good start: a documentary that offers another vision of education