On the occasion of the release of its new social comedy “The class Struggle”, with Edouard Baer and Leïla Bekhti, they met Michel Leclerc, who returns to this story a little autobiographical and speaks of his attachment to his characters. KARE PRODUCTIONS – UGC IMAGES – ORANGE STUDIO, FRANCE 2 CINEMA – CHAOCORP PRODUCTIONS – SCOPE PICTURES 4 AlloCiné : What is autobiographical in the film ? Michel Leclerc : there is a part autobiographical to the extent that the starting point of The class Struggle is born out of a concern that staff had met with our children at the school of Bagnolet, where we lived for ten years. Moreover, it has turned in to the school, where were our children ! At one point, our son has had problems at school – the less said, that he had problems – and our fear of parents, Baya Kasmi [co-writer of the film] and I, is mounted in whipped cream. The parents are not in school and can only interpret what their child says this is happening. And we found out that the problem of the public school was something very present today, in many families. A lot of parents avoid putting their child in the school sector on which they depend, are trying to cheat on their address, or decide to put them in the private sector. What happened to us, it is that one day, the tension is rising, we decided to change our child’s school and it has created a great concern, because we asked the question of the fidelity to our values. I am the son of a teacher and for me, public school is the bedrock of the Republic and should be the place where people from different social classes meet, so it was very complicated. You question the values of the left through this couple. It is something that was already in The Name of the people by example. This is something that’s close to your heart ? I question especially the humanistic values. What interests me is to show characters that are enferrés in their own contradictions. At the same time, it is very important for me not to be judgmental. We can make fun of the characters, but I want to be in empathy with them, we share their point of view, their torment, and also that we laugh with them. Not only the main characters, moreover, the other also. I find it beautiful, people who wonder about their courage, their cowardice, who doubt whether they are good people or not. We can make fun of the characters, but I want there to be empathy with them. It is true that you seem to have a benevolence full for your characters and this is not so common ! We wanted to both address a difficult subject, the gender mix at the school, the phenomenon of segregation according to social class, without diluting it, so a desire to go to law on the subject, even shocking, but at the same time, the benevolence is essential, the humanity of the characters lets talk about all the subjects. When one has empathy for a character, it can afford to go away, to tell sometimes of horrors. For example, the character of Leïla Bekhti goes so far as to slap a kid, but immediately after that she wants to have done that. The couple Leïla Bekhti/Edouard Baer is surprising at first, but works great, how have you decided to work with this duo ? For Edouard Baer, it comes back to the same issues as in the previous question. When you have a character like that of Paul, who is sometimes provocative and violent, verging sometimes the antipathy, if you do interpret it by someone who carries with him a sympathy – and it is the case of Edouard Baer – you can go far with the character because you know that the viewer is not going to lose sympathy for him. It is also a character who is a theater in itself. Conversely, the character of Sofia is someone who always tries to arrange and understand the world, and Leïla is like that, it has a high sensitivity and this idea that if everyone does a little effort, everyone can agree on. And it was a real fiber comical ! Yes, they are both a real comedy duo. In a comedy duo, there is always an augustus, and a white clown. The augustus, it is Edouard Baer, who is the idiot, and the white clown, this is Leila. As in this scene in private school where they listen to “I fuck the pope” : he said no matter what, it breaks down and the comedy comes from the relationship between the two. It is true that Leïla is a great actress of comedy ! About “I fuck the pope” precisely : it is a song that was written for the film ? Yes, absolutely, it is a song that was written for the film. I come from the 1990s, alternative rock, Bérurier Noir, Ludwig von 88, so I knew well all of this mainstream very rise, very committed, and for me, this song comes from these years, it is a sign of the culture of Paul. It has remained a bit stuck in this era where we didn’t care the mouth of John Paul II because he said that he did not have to put of hoods. He has the impression of always being the same and he doesn’t see too much that society has changed, it has a trick anachronistic. This is illustrated by the scene where he gives a concert of support to migrants by singing her hit “I fuck the pope” without seeing that it goes completely over the head. At the same time, he did a show of support for migrants, so it still has a noble intent and praiseworthy, but it is still completely off. KARE PRODUCTIONS – UGC IMAGES – ORANGE STUDIO, FRANCE 2 CINEMA – CHAOCORP PRODUCTIONS – SCOPE PICTURES 4 How have you found the two young actors who play the children, including the teenager who is really funny ? When it comes to children, we make a cast here a cast of wild, because for me the kids may not already be actors, they don’t know themselves. I’ve seen a lot of children and adolescents, and I stumbled on this little Tom [Levy] who is great. He is the son of teachers who have taught in the suburbs, so he was immersed in these issues, and he has the grace of childhood that fact that he was an intelligent crazy, but he was still a kid, with his outbursts of affection. He should really be careful that the child does not react to the small dog scholar who learns a text, for me it was important to put it in the scene and he invents his text. It is that fact that one can get something natural. As for Mona, I met her in casting, I’ve found a tone and a diction that is particular and she gave me a lot to think about my own daughter ! It is great. We laugh a lot, we cry a little ! It was important to bring this element of emotion pure enough ? This is something that to me is quite natural. This story, mine of nothing, if it is at the foot of the letter, it is actually quite dramatic. Me, I’m doing comedy, so from this dramatic situation, I try to find what are the areas of comedy, but at the bottom, when the stake for the characters is serious, it comes necessarily in the film. If we liked these characters and if we laughed with them, if at a given moment, we can see that they are unhappy, it is unhappy. Among all the situations a little funny which are linked in the film, some you are-they really happened or they are things that are born of your experience and you have your imaginations run with Baya Kasmi ? The two of them, but there are things that we have really arrived ! For example, this scene with the director of the school : because my son had some problems, especially in relation to the secular in his school and that he had said that he was the only one in the class not to believe in God, we had an appointment with the director that we had shown them photos saying, ” hey, I’m trying to teach them who is who and does not have a of prejudice from these photos. “It is something that one has truly lived. The trailer of The Fight of classes, in the dining room today : The class Struggle trailer VF

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