The story of a disillusioned youth | Humanity
Marion Vernoux Director
Samia (Sarah Isabella), Jessica (Nina Louise) and Louise (Bintou Ba) dream of another life. More freedom, more luxury, the feeling of being a treasure to be snatched away: this is what Nico (Idir Azougli), at the head of the prostitution network in which they find themselves little by little, promises them. little trapped. The director unveils a television film held by the energy of young actors in a chilling realism on pedocrime and violence against women.
Given the delicate subject of your film and the age of your heroines, how did you proceed with the casting?
We had to find our actresses in record time. We asked the actresses to send a video where they were dancing. Sarah’s beauty caught our attention, and the scene she sent us was stunning. This generation is used to social networks, to showing off. I would have been asked, thirty years ago, to film myself in my room dancing, I would have said » are you out of your mind « .
Your film is not only about young girls, but also about boys, barely older than them and who are already involved in prostitution…
Both are in a kind of unconsciousness and trivialization of what they do. It’s awful. But I didn’t want to create villains that were too cynical, because that doesn’t reflect reality. I have read many trial reports on this type of business: the typical profile is often a former drug dealer. It’s safer and less risky to sell a body than to sell drugs. It goes through social networks and it is untraceable.
Do you think that social networks like TikTok which glamorize the profession of escort contribute to a trivialization of prostitution?
The poor, if they knew the reality… It’s misery: everyday life is suburban Ibis hotels and Pizza Huts . Prostitution is “the oldest profession in the world”. It also goes through technological changes. Changing the name of the activity is revealing: “prostitution” is a very clear term; with “escort”, we are in an artistic blur between the model, the call-girl, as shown in a scene from the film. There is a girl power side, the girls keep control, as if trading in their bodies was a way of asserting themselves, of not depending on guys. It’s a rather delirious storytelling, very far from reality.
How did you work on the sexual assault scenes with your young actresses?
Very early on, I proposed to the production to hire Djanis Bouzyani (credited in the credits as “intimacy coordinator” – Editor’s note), who had acted in my film Fellow. He is very comfortable with his body and young. He was a good conduit between the young actresses and me. He taught them, in a fun way, to be seductive. He was also present during the more complicated scenes.
Your actresses play their very suggestive first role in this film. How did you guide them?
I had to be delicate with my young actresses. It limited us. But we couldn’t completely miss the point: there was the constraint of censorship. We didn’t want the film to be banned for those under 18, only those under 12. I had absolutely no intention of making a voyeuristic film.
You show characters who take drugs and drink a lot to hold on. Is it due to a share of fragility?
It’s a parallel life with easy money, adrenaline rush. For a kid who is not good in class, prostitution gives her enormous value. The victims are often people who have a somewhat fragile self-esteem. It’s a form of addiction too, I discovered it while researching. Returning to “normal life” is very difficult. There are many who last two, three months and then relapse.
Does the couple Louise and Nico reveal a form of psychological influence?
It’s love bombing: a wave of love to coax its prey. But between Nico and Louise, it is also a love story that is played out. It is not only by vice and greed that they are together: they are lost. And what is terrible is that losing your innocence is degrading. It is the very complicated job of associations and parents to give them back the integrity they have lost.