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  Cycle index  
Stella
dir. Sylvie Verheyde / France 2008 / 103’
subtitles: Polish and English
Panorama
The Market Square

Cast

Léora Barbara, Karole Rocher, Benjamin Biolay, Melissa Rodrigues, Laëtitia Guerard, Guillaume Depardieu, Johan Libéreau, Jeannick Gravelines

Film description

Stella is 11, her beautiful face is absolutely innocent, her friends could be acquaintances of any serial criminal, she can play cards, her parents have a "working-class" café in the outskirts of Paris and she owns a dog. Stella has no friends of her age, she doesn't know French literature or orthography, she doesn't wear clothes other girls wear and she lacks many experiences which are common to 11-year-old girls. But she knows everything about football, pop music, sex and fighting. She spends days and nights at the café. When she goes to a prestigious secondary school, she wakes up in an entirely different world. As Alice having passed through the looking glass, Stella discovers a reality of distinct rules and emotions. Sylvie Verheyde tells an uncommon and unsentimental story about crossing the line between childhood and maturity, about alienation and building one's identity.

Stella is based on my childhood memories and in particular, on my first year of secondary school in 1977. Like Stella, I grew up in a working-class café, a world that was tough, violent, far from the world of childhood. Like her, I was catapulted into a famous Parisian secondary school. And like her, I arrived there alone with my soccer ball under my arm.

Monika Kocbuch

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Agnes Varda will attend two screenings of her film The Beaches of Agnes (Les plages d'Agnès) and she will meet with the audience!

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