Two teenagers kidnap their teacher in Nebbou’s Bad Seeds
by Fabien Lemercier
22/03/2011 - Safy Nebbou’s fourth feature, the French/Luxembourg/Belgian co-production Bad Seeds has been shooting since March 7 in Poitou-Charentes. After The Giraffe’s Neck (2004), Mark of an Angel [trailer] (2008) and Dumas [trailer] (special screening at Berlin in 2010), the director’s latest work straddles the border between thriller and dramatic comedy.
The cast includes Emile Berling (who attracted attention in The Clink of Ice [trailer]), his father Charles Berling (Summer Hours [trailer]), Kevin Azaïs (discovered in Skirt Day [trailer]) and Sarah Stern.
Co-scripted by the director and Gilles Taurand (who co-wrote Dumas) based on Boileau-Narcejac’s novel L’âge Bête (“The Stupid Age”), the film centres on 16-year-old Louis, son of the high-school headmaster. His best friend, Greg, has been threatened with a disciplinary committee and expulsion because he brandished scissors at Camille, a young inexperienced English teacher.
To get revenge and teach her a lesson, Greg decides to kidnap her. Louis becomes an accomplice by providing the keys to a secluded cottage on a small island in the marshes. Bound, gagged and humiliated, Camille is kept prisoner. They are planning to release her the following morning, but Greg changes his mind.
During this time, in the large bourgeois house where Louis lives alone with his father, the headmaster is embarrassed because he has to punish the best friend of his son with whom he finds it so difficult to communicate. What mystery keeps them so distant from one another?
Bad Seeds is produced by Michel Saint-Jean for Diaphana. Its €6m budget includes co-production support from France 3 Cinéma, Luxembourg’s Samsa Film and Belgium’s Artémis Productions, as well as a pre-acquisition from Canal+.
Until April 1, shooting will take place in the Poitou-Charentes region (in the Poitevin Marsh and Niort) before relocating to Luxembourg where it will wrap on May 6. Diaphana will handle French distribution, while international sales are being managed by Memento Films International.
(Translated from French)