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Softie is among a series of social-realistic films that address vulnerable children's upbringing conditions, and the importance of a good teacher. What is special about this film is the queer perspective, that adds a painful vulnerability to the relationship between the teacher and ten-year-old Johnny.

10-year-old Johnny is growing up in the north of France in a rough working-class environment. In that sense, Softie is one of the recent socially realistic films that takes up the topic of children's growing-up conditions. It also moves in the footsteps of films such as The Class and Dead Poet's Society, but differs in one essential point: the queer perspective, which adds a painful and challenging vulnerability to the teacher-student relationship.

Like several of the films Softie is related to, the camera, and thus the perspective, is held at eye level with the child, which contributes to intimacy and identification. But the identification is also challenged through a the double point-of-view: we see Johnny's emotions and actions both from his and from an adult perspective, something that is both touching and at times confronting. A trend which we have seen in this type of films, especially this year, has been the extensive use of amateur actors in key roles. It is the case here too, and the result is beautiful. Aliocha Reinert's acting and face will leave their mark on you.

This film was chosen by film critic Britt Sørensen.


Samuel Theis is a French actor and director, born in 1978. He studied in the screenwriting workshop at La Femis. His first feature film, Party Girl, debuted in 2014 in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes film festival, where it was awarded two prizes. Softie is his second feature film. 


2014 Party Girl

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