Laura Wandel presents the world of schoolchildren in Cannes

08/07/2021

The 36-year-old Belgian director Laura Wandel returns to Cannes in the official selection with her first feature film, "Un monde" (Playground), in the "Un Certain Regard" section. Seven years earlier, she presented "Les corps étrangers" (Foreign Bodies), which was nominated for the Palme d'Or for short films and for the Magritte 2015.

Laura Wandel was trained at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion (IAD), the Belgian college of Arts in the field of performing arts and broadcasting and communication techniques, in Louvain-la-Neuve. It was the filmmakers Chantal Akerman, the Dardenne brothers and the Iranian Abbas Kiarostami, who inspired her to pursue her vocation.

 

"Un monde", shot in natural settings at the Athénée Royal Andrée Thomas in Forest (Brussels), is an immersive dive into the world of school from a child's perspective.  When seven-year-old Nora (Maya Vanderbeque) starts primary school, she is confronted with the harassment of her older brother Abel (Günter Duret).  The story shows her torn between her desire to warn their father (Karim Leklou) in order to protect him and the promise of silence made to her brother.

 

"With this film, I wanted to show the strength and resilience of children by sending the viewer back to their schooldays and their first confrontations with others," says the director. "Un Monde" will be released in cinemas in October.