Following a director and his crew who are making a movie with non-actor kids and teens from the working-class Picasso neighborhood in Boulogne-Sur-Mer in Northern France, filmmakers Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret’s drama The Worst Ones provides an empathetic look at growing up in challenging circumstances. Documentary-like in its candor, the coming-of-age film is also touchingly tender as it captures a memorable summer in its characters’ lives.

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THE WORST ONES – Review by Nikki Fowler

Cannes Un Certain Regard winner The Worst Ones digs deep into the successful French filmmaking trend of casting non-actors or street performers for roles in films that mimic the person’s real-life stories. In this film, the cast/characters are troubled children and teens from an impoverished housing tenement in the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France.

A Belgian indie filmmaker, Gabriel, played by Johan Heldenbergh, is making a feature film debut entitled Pissing in the North Wind, for which he and his production crew are auditioning community kids to cast the most unexpected and troubled to play the film’s characters. Nobody in the community quite understands what he is doing or why — not even those who are chosen to perform.

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