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Le Principal

Chad Chenouga | 2022 | 82 MINS
France | Subtitles
UK Premiere - France

Middle school vice-principal Sabri Lahlali is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that his son, who is about to sit his leaving exams, will achieve the best possible academic record. But he has no idea just how far his plan will take him.

In Detail

‘The Principal’ explores not only the theme of cheating and education, but also family relationships and ambitions. Secondary characters, such as Estelle and Sabri's brother, Said, bring extra depth to the story by shedding light on the different facets of Sabri's life. Visually and verbally, this character seems inscrutable.

The film shows him indulging in a race in the woods, symbolising his constant quest to surpass himself. The relationship between Sabri (Roschdy Zem) and Estelle, played by Yolande Moreau, is particularly touching.

Estelle represents support and understanding in a world where Sabri often feels isolated because he stands apart from his fellow teachers. Their friendship emphasises the importance of human connection in an often rigid and unforgiving school environment. Chad Chenouga's film is a fascinating exploration of moral dilemmas, family relationships and challenges.

The combination of a captivating script, powerful performances and skilful staging makes it a fascinating work for anyone interested in questions of ethics, honesty and the quest for success, inviting us to reflect on the choices we make and the consequences that flow from them.

Our thanks to Wild Bunch for this screening.

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