In this debut feature by writer-director Laura Wandel, the everyday reality of grade school is seen from a child's-eye-view as an obstacle course of degradation and abuse. Following seven-year-old Nora and her big brother Abel, we see Nora struggling to fit in before finding her place on the schoolyard. One day, she notices Abel being bullied by other kids, and though she rushes to protect him by warning their father, Abel forces her to remain silent, while he endures more humiliation and harassment by his peers.
Transposing the gritty realism of such filmmakers as Jacques Audiard and the Dardennes Brothers to the inner world of kids, Wandel crafts an empathetic and visceral portrait of the cruelty of children, and the failure of adults to protect them. Shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best International Film, PLAYGROUND is a “must-see drama about school bullying” (Los Angeles Times).
DIRECTED BY LAURA WANDEL
BELGIUM | 2021 | FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES