Our review of La Mif, a real family resemblance

CRITICISM – Awarded last year at the Berlinale, this energetic film follows the daily life of a home where we try to give a framework to young girls in suffering. A surprising success by the Genevan Frédéric Baillif both in terms of form and content.

Without warning, the spectator plunges into the heart of the action, embarked on a fight in the hallway between several residents, who scream, struggle, cry, and finally see one of their own leave in a police car.

Filmed at night, this first sequence destabilizes but provokes the irresistible desire to know more. Who are these young girls from diverse backgrounds, gathered in a home, and surrounded by educators overwhelmed by the magnitude of the incident. Why are they so on edge?

Directed by the Swiss director Frédéric Baillif, himself a former educator, The Mif could have been just one more film about children placed in foster care. It is not so. Rewarded at the last Berlinale, the feature film avoids pathos with its original narrative construction, a sort of fascinating labyrinth based on a non-linear narrative. Atypical, lasting almost two hours, the film passes in the blink of an eye and immerses the viewer…

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