The opening credits of the convincing and painful Les diables are accompanied by a plaintive song about children who `fly away', that was also many decades before in Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter. We see two abandoned children, Chloé and Joseph, on their way to Marseilles, to a nonexistent 'home'. They seem to have seen a lot more misery in the world than should match their age thirteen or fourteen. The catatonic, silent Chloé is protected with all his might by her younger brother, who is continuous conscious of his sister's looming lapse. Tacking between wellmeaning adults and disinterested authorities, Les diables follows the urgent quest of brother and sister for family, for a home. When they are taken into a children's home (for difficult children), a psychiatrist manages to achieve a minor breakthrough with Chloé. Thoughts of running away are however never far from the surface. Then the authorities find their mother.In some scenes, for instance the one when a youth institution is stormed by hundreds of young problem kids, Les diables is a powerful social commentary. But in the end, the film sustained by the young Haenel and Rottiers who have rightly been praised for their powerful and intense performance is largely a roadmovie about growing up.

International title
The Devils
Filmmaker
Christophe Ruggia
Premiere
-
Country
France
Year
2002
Medium
35mm
Length
105’
Language
French
Producer
Lazennec & Associés, Bertrand Faivre, ARTE France Cinéma, Studio Canal, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma
Sales
Mercure Distribution, Wild Bunch
Writer
Olivier Lorelle, Christophe Ruggia