After Pull the tongue, mademoiselle and The Wolberg family in particular, Axelle Ropert signs a 4th feature film telling the story of a divorce at the height of a young teenager, with Philippe Katerine, Léa Drucker and the young Jade Springer.
What is it about ?
Solange is 13 years old, she is full of life and curiosity with something special: she is excessively sentimental, and adores her parents. But one day, she realizes that they are arguing and begin to grow apart…the shadow of divorce becomes clearer. So Solange will worry, react and suffer. It’s the story of an overly tender young teenager who wants something impossible: that love never ends.
Petite Solange, directed and written by Axelle Ropert, with Jade Springer, Léa Drucker, Philippe Katerine and Grégoire Montana-Haroche.
Divorce, from the perspective of a young teenager
Children of the 80s and 90s may remember a movie called Awesome, my parents are getting divorced. In 1991, Patrick Braoudé gathered more than 500,000 spectators for this comedy, in which he played alongside Clémentine Célarié and Patrick Bouchitey. TV broadcasts then enjoyed a certain success, and the film was even remade (unknown in France) in the United States under the name Génial, my parents love each other.
These films had the particularity of adopting a point of view that is ultimately quite rare in cinema: telling the story of the divorce, but from the child’s point of view. Far from the rather schoolboy comedy of Braoudé, Axelle Ropert, here with Little Solangetells the story of a divorce with infinite gentleness, modesty and tenderness.
What effects does divorce have on a child… This is a subject whose richness seems to me to be unknown, even despised
“I am part of a generation, that of the children-adolescents of the 80s, where parents began to divorce en masse, a real sociological phenomenon, explains the filmmaker. Our grandparents stayed together for life, our parents separated… I am part of this generation to whom this real “break” happened, a break that makes family stories very different from those of the model before. I am a child of divorced people (even if Petite Solange is not at all autobiographical), and I was passionate about telling this story which has hardly been shown in the cinema: what effects divorce has on a child. .. It is a subject whose richness seems to me to be unknown, even despised.”
To feed this non-autobiographical fiction, the screenwriter and director has read many testimonials on forums: “It was very moving to understand that, whatever the social classes, the same traumas of abandonment, of the rupture of a world, of destruction, of sadness, persist, even in adulthood. Oddly enough, it’s not well known, however, the end of family love is an immense theme, and delicate to write, because one of the challenges was above all not to make a film that made the parents feel guilty…“
Strong point of the film: it chooses not to show the arguments between parents, with a film that can be cruel but also tender, vibrant “in his way of searching for forgotten wounds“…
Truffaut and Comencini as references
Former film critic, the filmmaker Axelle Ropert (director of 4 features and several short and medium-length films) has peppered her reference story, in particular with François Truffaut (the end shot of the film is clearly a wink) but also Luigi Comencini. She says she went rather towards “the paradoxically incredible harshness of Truffaut’s story, that of a child left to his own devices in the big city, a character who crosses the perimeter of his neighborhood as he would cross the whole world“, referring more specifically to the Four Hundred Blows.
“The other source film for Petite Solange is L’Incomris by Luigi Comenciniof which we see a poster in the filmcontinues Axelle Ropert in the press kit. There is something about the light, the cruelty, the lyricism of a certain Italian music, and also the sweetness of the implacable accomplishment of the course of things. The Italian thread allowed me to create a filiation, and to bring an explosive color, something that carries you when you think of the feeling. Something intense too, which can, here again, respond to the idea of what makes a fourteen-year-old girl dream, all in interiority.”
For the record, Axelle Ropert had already made a film paying direct homage to Truffaut a few years ago, with many new generation actors including Vincent Lacoste and Adèle Haenel.
The short film Truffaut in the present by Axelle Ropert
Truffaut in the present – A film by Axelle Ropert from The French Cinematheque we Vimeo.