The world after us, the generational film of precarious youth of the 2020s

In Paris, you can pay your rent for the price of minimum wage or share a 9m2 flatmate. How to make a living without losing too much? This is the conclusion of Le Monde après nous. A sharp film about the precariousness of today’s youth. Meeting with its director Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas during a food distribution.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables, dry goods, hygiene kits… It is Thursday, the day of distribution of quality food products near the Place de la Réunion in Paris, in the 20th arrondissement. That afternoon, more than 300 students came to eat something to the local Linkee association.

Young people in precariousness have not disappeared with the end of sanitary measures and the return of temporary jobs. On the contrary, they are among the most affected because they are below the poverty line. Started after the first confinement, distributions like this, there are now about twenty of them from Monday to Thursday, in seven different places, in Paris and in the inner suburbs (Nanterre, Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen, etc.).

To benefit from food aid you only need to have your student card and register on the platform.

one of the main volunteers of the Linkee association

Linkee announces that it has already organized the distribution of more than 200,000 meals distributed and helped more than 20,000 students. According to a Linkee survey conducted among 3,200 students, 80% of them don’t have enough to eat.

When you don’t have enough to eat, even going to the movies becomes a luxury. It is in this context of budgetary restrictions that the premiere of the film takes place. the world after us.

In fact, for 15 days, with each food basket, an invitation is offered for two people to go see this film in a partner cinema. Coming with the distribution-broadcasting team, director Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas discovers this reality of student precariousness, which he did not imagine was so important in the capital.

I’m originally from Lyon, so “going to Paris” means something to me.

Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas, director of Le Monde après nous

However, with his beloved student, he He too known for a long time this daily life in which one does not eat when one is hungry. “We would have needed to come up with a cast like Linkee’s today. Often we didn’t know what we were going to eat in the evening.“But at the time, that didn’t exist yet, and they never dared to go to places like the Restos du Coeur.”I didn’t feel legitimate. I left my studies at Science Po Lyon to come to Paris and make films. It was a choice, so let’s say I managed with other means to the limit…

The main character of The World After Us is called Labidi. Actor Aurélien Gabrielli on screen Twenty years old, he dreams of writing his first novel and sleeps on the floor on a simple gym mat, in the 9m2 utility room that he shares with his roommate and friend Alekseï (Léon Cunha da Costa). . The latter occupies the single bed that occupies the entire space of the small room. As his bank account is systematically in the red, Labidi becomes a bicycle delivery man. But that doesn’t feed them every day, his lover Elisa (Louise Chevillotte) and him. So he resorts to various resources, such as petty theft in the supermarket or insurance fraud attempts, which are usually very unsuccessful and painful. A harsh reality, between imagination and lived things, told with humor without false airs from the song “Misère, misery!”

I wanted comedy because I don’t care about my situation then; There are precarious situations in the film that my wife and I experience and, at that moment, we laugh a lot. I believe that if we don’t laugh we won’t get out of it. I come from a family without great resources, and we have always laughed at our misfortunes. The comedy makes it possible to evacuate from the film a kind of collective imaginary that sees the poor as systematically sad characters,says the thirty-year-old director.

Like Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas, his character is a class dropout: his parents run a small brewery in Lyon, known for its watch collection. This “foolish, prologue and poor”, as he defines himself, aspires to go from unstable and occasional jobs, which allow him to survive, to the condition of recognized author. “This new project described what he was living, that is, the life of young people in Paris who have no money and who do not come from a social class that allows them to live in this city and make their art.“, explains Louba Ben Salah-Cazanas.

Last February, he experienced his first recognition for his work as a director: his film was, in fact, selected for the Berlinale, the international film festival in Berlin. When he found out about this selection, I had just gotten a food job: handler at a big DIY store. Since February, Louba Ben Salah-Cazanas has been juggling promotional shoots for his film, interviews in English, and this new job. He specifies: “I am still in the same situation as described in my movie. I have a new food job right now. The film is selected in Berlin, it’s amazing, but it doesn’t pay the rent.

His parents were more delighted by the CDI than by the film’s selection at the Berlin festival. “They would have preferred to see it in Cannes, it is even better known! “, adds Louba humorously.

Return to the distribution of meals next to the Place de la Réunion. Charlotte Cardonnel is in her third year of animation film at the Estienne school in Paris. Like 5,000 other people, she had the pleasure of benefiting from an invitation to see the world after us. Since the start of the school year in September, this student has been one of Linkee’s beneficiaries. Food packages needed: Since her studies are demanding and time-consuming, she finds it impossible to reconcile them with a side job. So she turned to a student loan to hang on.

It really is a very beautiful film and we feel that it exudes sincerity and a certain honesty.“After a preview session a fortnight ago, Charlotte recalls several moments in the film, where she found her everyday life:”The scene where the character looks at his bank account and discovers that he has no money. Even if he didn’t, like him, scheming to find money, I understand.

Charlotte regularly faces the same anxieties: “CHow to make it last until the end of the month? Parisian life, with the very small apartments, I know that too. Like the desire to have a bigger house because it is very difficult to live in a small and limited space on a daily basis. Weight in the end! “

The student concludes:It is not easy to pay attention to everything you buy, always be reasonable. It doesn’t bloom either.

Far from the French films mocked for their depressing “bedroom kitchens in Paris” stories, the world after us captures something of the spirit of the times and of the life of young Parisian students that we have rarely seen on the big screen, also far from the usual clichés of Parisian nights. “There are so many movies that seek to become generational movies by sheer calculation that they become paralyzing from the first frame; and others who, on the contrary, content with the times without slogan or pretense, but with infinite sincerity, tell something about us.” rightly states the film crew. Like the director and his cinematographic double, this first feature film is on a crest line, alternately comic and somewhat dark.

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