Adolescence and graffiti in Vandal
by Fabien Lemercier
23/04/2012 - The cameras started rolling today in Strasbourg, on Hélier Cisterne’s first feature film Vandal. Cisterne previously stood out with short films including Les paradis perdus (lit. “Lost paradises” - Jean Vigo Award in 2008, Critics’ Week at Cannes in 2008, and César nomination in 2009) and Les Deux vies du serpent (lit. “The two lives of the serpent” - official medium-length film selection at the Critics’ Week in 2006). For Vandal, he has brought together a cast of young actors including Zinedine Benchenine, Émile Berling (The Clink of Ice [trailer]), Kevin Azaïs (Skirt Day [trailer]) and Chloé Lecerf, to feature alongside Jean-Marc Barr (Making Plans for Lena [trailer]), Ramzy Bédia (Des vents contraires [trailer]), Marina Foïs (nominated for a César in 2012 for Best Actress in Polisse [trailer, film focus]), and Brigitte Sy (Declaration of War [trailer]).
Written by the director, GillesTaurand (Farewell, My Queen [trailer, film focus]), and Katell Quillévéré (Love Like Poison [trailer]), with the participation of Nicolas Journet, the screenplay features 16-year-old Chérif, a delinquent teenager living with his mother Hélène, stepfather, and stepbrother. After an order from the children’s court, Hélène decides to send her son away to stay with his uncle Paul in Strasbourg, and Chérif suddenly finds himself alone in a city where he hasn't been since childhood. His father Farid still lives there, but they are out of touch. Chérif lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin Thomas. In his second year of studying masonry at college, he meets Elodie, a tomboy with whom he becomes friends. But soon, caught between the pressure at school and the attentive care of his new family, Chérif starts to suffocate. One night, after he threatens to run away, his cousin takes him out into the night and introduces him to graffiti. It’s a dive into the margins of society that once again tempts Chérif off the straight path, but also one that will bring him closer to his identity and desires.
Produced by Justin Taurand (2011 Producer on the Move of the European Film Promotion – read the interview) for Les Films du Bélier, Vandal is co-produced by Belgian production company Tarentula, Hérodiade, and Rhône-Alpes Cinéma. With pre-acquisitions from Canal+ and Ciné+, the film is also supported by the Alsace region, the Urban Community of Strasbourg, Sofica Banque Postale Images, Cinémage, the French Community in Belgium, the Film and Audiovisual Centre of the Wallonia Brussels Federation, and Voo. Filming will take place from today until June 1, then from June 18 to 20. Pyramide will distribute the film in France and Films Distribution will be in charge of international sales.
(Translated from French)