Playground, the fifth film of our 77th season achieved an overall appreciation score of 74%, there was appreciation for the child stars, the attempt to shoot from a child’s viewpoint, however some members were more critical, finding the film depressing and uncomfortable to watch. Some of the comments submitted:
- Excellent acting by the young girl particularly. I felt furious with the non-observant adults who allowed bullying to thrive under their nose. A must-see film for all people involved in caring for or teaching young people.
- Beautifully shot film at the level of the child. The female lead was an absolute star!
- An amazing film. Shot with the main character onscreen and in focus all the time. Her reactions to everything going on driving the story and narrative. Brilliant acting by the actors playing Nora and her brother Abel. Showing how lawless school can be and proving, along the way, how useless adults can be in a bullying situation. Brilliant movie.. Short, sharp and to the point. Upsetting in places but not at all depressing..
- Committee are doing an excellent job, theatre is great (+ location, size and parking are excellent), you have a lot of members to manage which is challenging. It’s our first year and we think the film selection is excellent.
- Excellent production, pointing out how the abused becomes the abuser. thought provoking but extremely depressing.
- A very sad reflection on French schools especially in their safeguarding policy re bullying. An extremely moving portrayal by the young sister & incredibly well acted.
- Beautifully shot and incredibly perceptive. As someone who was bullied at school it made quite uncomfortable viewing.
- Very uncomfortable to watch I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
- Accurate view of the cruelty of children.
- I have mixed feelings: yes, it was good but how staged? Was it really cinema verite?
- Excellent filming at child’s eye level covering a very bleak topic. Although the lack of background information and context made it slightly frustrating at times, it made the immediacy of Nora’s experience all the more powerful.
- A really important topic, and stunning acting by the lead girl. But I felt curiously detached from the film, almost as though reading the blurb beforehand made watching it redundant. Not sure why!
- Extraordinary immersive exploration of the impact of bullying in a school, from a child’s perspective. The acting from the children was amazing – completely convincing. Great unobtrusive camera work that connected the viewer directly with Nora and her emotions as her school experience and the bullying unfolded.
- So, schools are hell – no, really? I would NEVER have known had I not seen this film.
Notwithstanding the skill of the filmmaker, I wonder if we really need a continuous diet of worthy, didactic films? As ‘Our Ladies’ showed, you can make serious social comment that shows the diversity of lived experience not just relentless misery. While I’m not insisting on a run of comedies, the audience member who called the films ‘depressing’ spoke some truth.
- Realistic view of childhood bullying but lacking structure and development.
- The camera focused exclusively on one single girl did not work for me. I longed for a broad focus establishing shot, and some strident sensible dialogue. Too much hugging, and not enough talking. However, they did achieve a lot of atmosphere and gave me a knotted stomach.