The playground, a world to grow at your own pace


Nathan, Nils, Enzo, Zoé, Romy and the others are in CM2. They are the biggest in the school. They assert themselves, like the teenagers they will soon be. In the middle of the school year, a new student arrives, Anya. The previous year, she spent it on Australian roads with her parents. Anya doesn’t say anything. She looks, pensive and a little scowling, at the playground. Until she receives a soccer ball in the face. Anya demands an apology from the boy, Enzo, responsible for the incident, who refuses to provide it. They come to blows, soon separated by a host, funny joker, Vincent (Djanis Bouzyani). War is declared.

The game’s rules

Anya will receive the support of three other children, including the fragile Nils, who will explain to her » The game’s rules « : “The court is like a map of the world. Those who play football take up all the space. those « who play cards »are therefore obliged to « stand aside » and the few girls « popular, real pests », play jump rope away. These three universes do not communicate. Anya refuses to let the boys have all the space in the yard to themselves. She therefore proposes to reinvest the land, with marbles. The day they disappear, the two clans clash, under the distraught and somewhat overwhelmed gaze of the adults, starting with the headmistress of the school (Clotilde Courau), their teacher (Ludovic Berhillot) and the parents. of students. The film talks about the reappropriation of space and the violence that is already being played out in primary school. The children reproduce the verbal violence and a sharing of the territory as transmitted to them by the adults. But the courtyardalso speaks of solidarity: when groups without a common interest unite to put an end to an injustice, they represent a force. And that’s what happens around Anya.

the reconquest of collective space

The courtyardstands at the height of children. Because, when you are 10 years old, the world is offered and nothing is impossible. With her stubborn little head, Anya doesn’t give in to teachers or bullies. We want to be able to be “everything” at this age, like Romy, a very good football player, but who suffers from being pushed aside by the other girls in her class. Or of Nils who has a murmur in his heart, but who squarely takes his place in the reconquest of collective space.

Hafsia Herzi also films the first love emotions. And because life is not linear, Anya becomes infatuated with Nathan, the principal’s son. A boy who plays tough in front of his classmates, but tells stories with his dinosaur figurines when he gets home. Anya finds in him an accomplice and a clandestine playmate. A precious secret also makes them grow, while waiting for the 6th. The children, starting with little Lucie Loste-Berset (Anya), play marvelously well. This film, joyful and profound, is a real gem.


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